During our last ice storm the crab apple tree outside our window lost a large limb. My mother, ever the clever one, suggested cutting some of the smaller branches and forcing the blossoms. I really had no idea what I was doing and had no idea of the outcome--but I cut enough to fill three vases and waited. And waited. And waited some more. I honestly thought I had ugly branches stuck in water all over my apartment. Then last week the buds started to open and yesterday the blossoms appeared! Spring has arrived!