What Happens to Trees in Winter?
From autumn, until the arrival of spring, trees fall into a dormant period, a long period of drowsiness during which their growth ceases completely. This allows them to focus all their efforts on protecting themselves from the harsh Canadian winter weather.
While some mechanisms are put on standby, others are triggered to protect the tree from freezing. Indeed, throughout this cold season, cell respiration and root growth continue. For evergreen trees, photosynthesis and transpiration may also continue.
The phenomenon of dormancy also contributes to this fight against the cold by protecting the young fragile tissues from freezing by stopping the growth of trees in winter. Another interesting mechanism is hardening, a process by which the tree increases the cold tolerance of its cells and tissues to minimize damage.
Indeed, freezing can have very harmful effects on the cells and the canals of the tree. Among the potential dangers: the cells could explode, the twigs could break and the trunk could split.
This is why, towards the end of winter, the tree takes advantage of this dormant period to regain its strength. It begins a process of repairing the damage that has been caused by winter before the arrival of spring. Among other things, the tree repairs its vessels carrying raw sap and creates new ones. It also tries to prevent air bubbles from forming during freeze-thaw cycles in the vessels that carry raw sap from the roots to the top of the tree.
Once back on its feet, the tree is ready to wake up in good shape in the spring and resume its growth.
If you ever notice that a tree seems damaged following a storm and could represent a potential danger, quickly call on our services!
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