Environment
5:05 am
Wed February 1, 2012

New Planting Map Shows Warmer Winters

The US Department of Agriculture says winters aren't as cold as they used to be in North Carolina. It has released its first new map of planting zones in more than 20 years. Tony Avent is the owner of Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh. He was a technical advisor on the map. He says its detailed, interactive features surpass anything previously available.

Tony Avent: People can actually go down to their street and go down the street online and click and see the warm spots on their neighborhood, the cool spots. So when you're buying a house, and you want to grow warm climate plants, you can actually pick out the location on your street that will allow you to do that. We've never had that before.

Avent says he's certainly noticed warmer winters at his nursery. Most of Eastern North Carolina has been re-classified as a warmer zone on the new map. But Avent says warming and cooling trends usually alternate in 15-year cycles.