The large pine tree in your front yard has endured a steadfast fall and has been struck by winter right away. Covered in ice one day, then experiencing temperatures into the 50°s the next; your pine is facing strange winter weather. How exactly does this weather affect your tree, and will you need to call a Certified Arborist for a tree consult?
Strange winter weather can cause structural and developmental issues to trees. In Wisconsin, we have been having an unseasonably warm winter. While this is enjoyable to some it undoubtedly affects our environment, and our trees specifically. Having an unseasonably warm day, followed by a cold snap, makes it hard for trees to adapt and cope with strange winter weather.
Drastic Weather Change Assists Fungus Growth
Wisconsin pines are known for producing large amounts of sap. This sap is inclined to flow when the tree experiences warm weather. If we have an unseasonably warm day, after a cold snap, this tells the tree to begin its spring process of flowing sap. Due to this lack of adaption, fungus growth can form from the sap that has oozed through the bark of the tree.
If your tree has reached dormancy for the winter, its ability to fight off this fungus is virtually nonexistent, resulting in potential health concerns. To combat this, check your pines, or other sap producing trees, regularly for strange growths, and call a Certified Arborist for a tree consultation.
Root Shock Can Occur
A tree that is not fully dormant during winter, is susceptible to winter shock. Cold weather can affect the whole tree, but it primarily affects the root system.
Strange winter weather that goes from being unseasonably warm to freezing the next day pauses the growth of the tree’s roots. As soil temperatures dip below 36°, root growth slows down, and once the soil has frozen, growth pauses. Without this growth pause taking place, roots can be damaged. We recommend adding mulch around the base of your trees to insulate them. This insulation allows a buffer between the cold frigid air and the soil, maintaining the warmth of the tree’s roots. Consider grinding up your Christmas tree and using the mulch to insulate your trees. While mulching is a DIY type of activity, professional help is always recommended as Certified Arborists know where, and how to precisely protect your trees.
Delayed Bloom in Spring is Expected
Strange winter weather is going to stifle the growth of trees’ bloom in spring. With this halt on growth, a Certified Arborist should be called for a tree consult. However, if your tree remains healthy, but no blooms are budding, don’t worry. The unseasonably warm winter tricked your tree into more sporadic blooming. These blooms in the spring will be of less quantity and may produce less quality. While this does not garner a tree consult, there is no harm in calling a Certified Arborist to ensure your tree’s health.
How Can Wachtel Tree Science Help?
Wachtel Tree Science is there for you and your trees year-round. We value maintaining healthy trees when strange winter weather can stifle the growth and success of your trees. If you happen to notice strange growths, are concerned about your tree holding it’s leaves long into winter, or just want a Certified Arborist to look at your property, contact Wachtel Tree Science for a tree consult.