Monday, February 8, 2016

Winter's Dreary Days ~ How do they effect our trees?

Winter Sun and Our Trees

Normally our trees have a very fun-loving relationship with the sun. They play a game of cat and mouse together. Trees trap sunlight much like a cat is relentless in its pursuit of a mouse! A tree will
attempt to fill any gaps in its canopy with branches and leaves as it grows. They are phototropic, which is just a fancy word for something that loves light and grows towards the light.

So, what happens in winter? 

Chicago winters are notorious for having dreary days. It seems that days pass with no sun. Spring is usually such a welcome season because the days are longer and the sun seems to come back. Although it's always here, it sure seems to be elusive in the winter. In winter there is less daylight and that significantly reduces de capacity of the plant to photosynthesize. So, just like humans adapt to the shorter days with little sun, the trees do too. 

Trees Hibernate

Trees though are more like a bear than a human. Deciduous trees 'hibernate' all winter long. This is called being dormant. The nutrients stored up in the sap or in other areas of the tree hold the tree over
the winter until the spring comes and they begin to flow again. During autumn the nutrients of the leaves are absorbed by the plant (hence the de-coloration of yellow, orange, red, etc.) including the water existing in the leaves and then is stored in other parts (roots, stem, etc.) for later use. It's a complex activity and when you stop to think about it, it really is amazing.

In fact, the dropping of leaves is a great example of adaptation to harsh conditions.

Trees also develop in balance with their surroundings and according to the space available to them as well as many other factors such as the typical weather conditions they are faced with, the type of soil they grow in and the amount of water available to them. Trees are complete creatures that are built to last.

Take care of your trees!

Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree service servicing the North Shore of Chicago, including Highland Park, Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe and Lake Forest, among other areas. Certified Arborists are readily available to field your questions, provide quotes and give advice. Please contact us for your tree care needs any time of year. We work year-round, rain or shine, below-zero or above 100!

Going out on a limb for you,

Jenni Willis
President and CEO, Trees "R" Us, Inc.