When a tree or shrub goes into dormancy, the plant is still very much alive and even thriving, while still being protected from seasonal climate changes.
For trees and shrubs, dormancy signals that it’s time to prepare their inner tissues for colder temperatures, drier weather, and a shortage of both water and nutrients essential for vitality throughout the growing season.
Dormancy means that instead of exerting continual energy to grow and expand, trees and shrubs essentially hit the pause button on growing in order to conserve energy and nutrients necessary for survival during the winter months.
This rest period allows the root systems living underground to continue to prosper, encouraging plants to emerge healthy and robust come the spring.
But in order to be “healthy and strong come the spring,” trees and shrubs need to be fertilized appropriately throughout the year – especially before dormancy begins.
In the fall, trees and shrubs stop sending nutrients and water to leaves, which then transform into a series of dazzling colors (due to the absence of chlorophyll) before shriveling up and falling to the ground.
During this time, trees and shrubs will use their stored-up nutrients to help increase root mass underground while storing up food to survive the winter. In other words, plants aren’t really dormant at all during this time of year, as root systems are incredibly active.
Proper fertilization allows trees and shrubs to store up food as necessary, which helps root systems to prosper while amassing the required nutrients for a healthy re-emergence come the spring. This is often referred to as dormant feeding.
During the fall and even the winter, trees can be safely fertilized without running the risk of leaf burn as the dormant plant is now utilizing the nutrients for root development rather than leaf creation and maintenance. That means it’s never too late to fertilize your trees and shrubs for the growing season to come.
For information on tree fertilization programs, contact SavATree today!