This is a question that many homeowners and green thumbs ask. It’s completely normal for certain trees, such as deciduous trees, to enter a period of dormancy during the winter. When the first cold snap of the year arrives, they’ll shed their leaves and become inactive.
This is usually only temporary, with the tree regrowing its leaves and becoming active again. But there are times when a tree may fail to break from its dormant state, and the first step to fixing this problem is to identify the cause.
It’s Not Warm Enough
Maybe your tree hasn’t broken dormancy yet because the weather is still cold. While different species have different climate requirements, most trees emerge from their dormant state when the temperatures reach 32 degrees to 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
This mildly cool climate creates the perfect environment in which trees can grow and thrive. Until your region experiences these temperatures – or higher temperatures – your tree will likely remain dormant.
Hopefully, this isn’t the reason your tree is still dormant, but it’s still something you need to consider nonetheless.
Trees are susceptible to a variety of fungal diseases, some of which can slow or stop their growth. Verticillium wilt, for example, is a common fungal disease affecting trees.
In addition to fallen leaves and bare branches, trees suffering from this disease may feature lightly colored streaks running down their bark.
If you believe that a fungal disease is preventing your tree from breaking dormancy, consider using an anti-fungal treatment product, such as neem oil.
Not Enough Water
Because they are more active during this time, trees need more water during the end of winter than the beginning and middle of winter. Mother Nature won’t always provide trees with enough water, however.
If your region has received little or no rain, your tree may become stuck in a dormant state. You can always wait until it rains again to help your tree emerge from this state. Alternatively, setting up a sprinkler near your tree can expedite the process.
The worst-case scenario is that your tree is dead, in which case it will never break dormancy. Assuming your tree was perfectly healthy during the previous spring and summer months, this probably isn’t the cause.
If your tree is dead, however, you’ll want to remove it as soon as possible to ensure that it doesn’t fall over and damage your property or injure someone.
If we can help with any of your tree care needs give us a call at 512-846-2535 or 512-940-0799 or