I am starting to see pistillate flowers emerge from the terminals of this year's new growth. Of the dozen cultivars I looked at today, the pistillate flowers of Osage were most noticeable (photo at right). The red arrow points to the still growing cluster of flowers.
Looking back over previous blog posts, I discovered that I first noticed pistillate flowers as early as April 6th in 2012. That represents a 5 week swing in crop development from 2012 to 2013. In 2012, we were three weeks early. This year we are 2 weeks late. In 2011, we had a more normal spring with female flowers first appearing on April 28th.
At this point, most of the pistillate flowers are still hidden under the folds of new leaves. The photo at right is typical. If you look carefully you can see a pistillate flower poking out from between newly forming leaves (red arrow points to flower). If the temperatures stay warm, it won't be too long before we can get a feel for the size of the 2013 nut crop.