We are CallTree Services, Richmond and the surrounding areas’ tree service. We prune, fell and remove trees and stumps. As we are enjoying another gorgeous fall in Richmond, many of us will undoubtedly make a trip up into the Shenandoah to enjoy Mother Nature’s display of autumn foliage. This made us think about trees (okay, we admit it, we always think about trees), but since we often get asked questions about trees and dormancy, we thought we’d take this blog to talk about a few basics around a tree’s dormancy.
What does it mean for a tree to be dormant?
A tree goes dormant, which is a type of sleep, during the winter. The short nights of winter, along with lower temperatures, cause a type of hibernation (which technically only animals do since it involves storing up fat). This type of sleep state enables trees to survive the winters. During dormancy, the tree’s metabolic functions slow down so it needs less food, water, and sunlight.
Do all trees go dormant?
Yes, all trees go through a period of dormancy on a yearly basis. Dormancy is signaled in deciduous trees, such as maples, sycamores, and elms, by the leaves changing colors and falling off. The dormancy of evergreen trees is harder to see, but it still happens. Evergreens still maintain basic metabolic functions, but at a lower rate.
Should I prune a dormant tree or not?
Late fall and early spring are the best times to prune a tree precisely because they are dormant during this time. Wounds from pruning heal more quickly when a tree is dormant. When it is very cold, extreme cold can damage the tree, and during the summer, the chances of fungi or insects taking advantage of an open wound are increased. The safest time to prune is, again, late fall or early spring while the tree is dormant.
Are there any other reasons to prune during the dormant period?
Yes, because the flow of sap has slowed, the limbs will be lighter, easier, and, thus, safer to remove. Limiting the limbs that need to bear up under the weight of winter snow is good for the tree and gives you a greater chance of a healthy tree to give you shade all summer.
When you need a tree pruned, felled, or completely removed, stump and all, be sure to call CallTree Services!