Is Your Tree Dead or Dormant? (The Expert Tree Services You Need)

August 10, 2022

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When it comes to caring for trees, there are a few symptoms that can be tricky to determine. One of the most common symptoms is known as dormancy. When a tree enters dormancy, it means that the tree is in a dormant state and will not grow any new leaves or produce any new flowers until it is activated by warmer temperatures.

While it is important for homeowners to know how to care for their trees during this period, it is equally important that they know how to spot the difference between a dead tree and one in dormancy. If you think your tree might be dead, don't hesitate to call tree experts right away. Our team will come out and take a look so we can give you an accurate diagnosis and recommend the best course of treatment for your tree.

What is Dormancy?

 Tree dormancy is the period of time during which a tree's growth and development are delayed or slowed down. During this time, trees stop growing, but they still need to stay alive. The mechanisms that allow trees to survive through the cold winter months are called dormancy.

Dormancy can be triggered by many different factors. For example, trees may be dormant because it's too hot outside or because there isn't enough water available for them to grow (or both). 

The most common form of tree dormancy is called "winter dormancy," which occurs when the temperature drops below freezing for an extended period of time (usually at least several weeks). Winter dormancy is important for many species of trees because it allows them to survive harsh winters without succumbing to frost damage or being killed off by frostbite if their roots become exposed due to heavy snowfall or ground erosion.

checking if a tree is dormant

What Does Dormancy Look Like?

 Tree dormancy is a period of inactivity in trees. It typically occurs during the winter, when trees are not actively growing. Dormancy is a survival mechanism that allows trees to conserve energy and survive harsh winters, though there are some evergreen trees that do not go dormant.

In most cases, dormancy is characterized by leaf loss and reduced water intake. The tree's sap stops flowing, so it can't replenish nutrients or transport water within the tree. In order to survive, the tree must store enough energy in its roots and trunk to keep it alive until warmer weather returns.

During dormancy, the tree's metabolism slows down significantly. Most of its cells stop growing and dividing; this helps prevent damage from freezing temperatures during winter months when temperatures can drop below freezing for weeks at a time without stopping (in some places). Some cells continue growing and dividing at low levels throughout the dormancy season; these include buds at the tips of branches and roots near the soil surface, so they will be ready to grow new leaves once spring arrives!

How To Care For Dormant Trees

It's easy to forget about your trees when they're dormant. It can be tempting to put off any tree care services until spring, but don't! If you don't take care of them now, they'll be more at risk of disease and damage later on. Here are some tips for caring for your dormant trees:

  • Make sure all the leaves are raked up. This will help prevent pests from overwintering in the fallen leaves—and it'll also make your yard look nicer when you come back out in the spring!
  • Check for any dead or damaged branches. If there are any, cut them off and throw them away so that they don't become a problem later on.
  • Mulch around the base of the tree with compost or pine needles so that weeds don't grow up around it. And if you have a larger tree, be sure to keep mulch away from its trunk to avoid causing rot or other damage to its roots.

What Does A Dead Tree Look Like?

 A dead tree is not just a tree that has been cut down but rather a tree that is no longer alive. Trees need water and nutrients to continue their lives, and if the water supply or nutrients are cut off for too long, they will die. The appearance of a dead tree varies depending on the size of the tree and how long it has been dead.

Small trees tend to have brown leaves that have turned yellow or red. These leaves will eventually fall off completely, leaving behind a branchless trunk with thin bark and no branches.

Large trees may still have some green leaves near the top of the tree in the summer months, but these leaves will die off as winter approaches. By this time next year, all you'll be able to see are branches without leaves or flowers on them—these branches can also be brown or yellow in color depending on what season it is when they died off (more likely in the winter months).

tree trimming

What To Do About A Dead Tree

 Dead trees are an unfortunate fact of life. It's not uncommon to see a tree that has died, especially if it's been in the ground for a while. If you're wondering what to do about a dead tree on your property, don't fret! There are several options available.

  • The first thing you should do is call a professional arborist. They can assess the situation and let you know what kind of treatment is necessary for your specific tree.
  • You may need only minor pruning or removal, but it's important to make sure that any treatment is performed by someone who knows what they're doing—otherwise, it could damage your other trees or cause other problems with your yard.
  • If you decide not to have the tree removed altogether, another option is to have it pruned back so that it becomes smaller in size over time. This way, its roots aren't taking up too much space in the soil and crowding out other plants around it.
  • Finally, if you want to keep some parts of the tree alive (such as fruit-bearing branches), then consider planting another tree next to it so that you can still enjoy those fruits without having them compete for space with each other!

When in doubt, be sure to get in touch with the team at Kansas City Tree Trimming & Removal Service. We'll get one of our tree specialists out to you quickly!


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