When trees shed their leaves for dormancy, there are various ways to prepare your tree for the winter season. Some factors like excess temperature, ground soil freeze, and ice showers may have a negative impact on your tree’s health. In this article Todd will discuss the main methods you can use to prepare your trees for the coming cold months.
What is a Deciduous Tree
The term ‘deciduous tree’ refers to a tree that sheds all of its leaves seasonally during the fall months and then enters a cycle of dormancy and finally growing new leaves in early spring. The leaves start to go through color changes and by December, they fall to the ground.
There is a noteworthy parameter to this phenomenon-the shed leaves create a type of barrier around the tree’s roots preventing them from getting cold/frozen. The natural decomposition of the leaves also enriches the soil and tree with health-boosting nutrients.
Note: Mowing the leaves can support this entire function as well as prevent leaves from matting and leading to problems later on.
What is Dormancy and its Role in Tree’s Health
Dormancy highly resembles animal hibernation in numerous aspects. During the winter time, animals slow their bodily systems to preserve their energy through deep sleep. Likewise, trees temporarily stop generating food during the winter season to save their energy deposits.
Deciduous trees, in particular, generate a substance named ‘Abscisic Acid’ which sends signals to the leaves to shed.
This substance (ABA) has the role of temporarily shutting off a tree’s development in both coniferous and deciduous tree types. Stopped growth is an extra benefit of dormancy which decreases even more the energy usage of trees. When the tree enters such a state, its metabolic function also slows, only using stored nourishment deposits and employs only principal processes.
Check Your Trees Prior to the Winter Season
In case you wish to keep health issues and insect infestations of your trees and shrubs under control, it would be wise to consult a tree expert. A tree professional can find out if there is something wrong with your tree and its respective treatment.
Getting your trees checked before dormancy starts will enable a prompt diagnosis of invasive insects or fungi. If you leave these issues untreated, the infestation caused during the dormancy stage will be detrimental to your tree’s health and lifespan.
Mulching Helps Conserve Water
When a tree loses more moisture than it takes in, this is called winter drought. We cannot control the weather, but we are able minimize it affects our trees.
Before winter temperatures set in, placing organic mulch around the tree’s base will provide a sort of insulation for the root system. The mulch works to prevent runoff and helps retain moisture. This benefits the tree’s health, hydration, and transition into and out of dormancy.
How to Treat Ice and Snow Accumulation
During a harsh winter season, Ice and snow may accumulate over your tree’s branches. It’s highly recommended that you DO NOT attempt to shake it off of the tree.
That is because the branches will be frozen, brittle, and prone to breaking. If you attempt to shake the snow and ice off, you may seriously harm the tree and even cause the tree branches to break off.
So when harsh weather conditions like this occur, it’s better to consult an expert so they can check the tree’s health status and come up with a course of action.
For more tips on dealing with snow on trees, click here.
Trees Know When It’s Time To Come Back to Life
As soon as the season shifts and warmer temperatures set in, trees will start coming back to their old selves. If you helped the tree the season before, your tree will enjoy another year of health and great looks.
Let nature do its thing. After you do some trimming and make sure your tree is out of harms way, allow the tree’s natural functions to take over – it knows what it’s doing.
Todd’s Marietta Tree Services