How Trees Survive Through Winter

Have you ever wondered how trees are able to survive the cold snaps of winter, only to bloom again in the spring? It’s one of nature’s great miracles. Here, we take a look at how trees manage to handle the cold weather and come back to life when temperatures warm up.

Winterizing Process

In preparation for winter, tree cells produce specialized proteins that help protect against freezing damage. These proteins act as antifreeze agents by binding to tiny ice crystals before they grow large enough to cause cell death. As temperatures drop further, water inside the tree’s cells begins to freeze and pressure builds up due to expansion. To prevent this pressure from damaging cells and tissues, some species of trees secrete a waxy substance called “thickener” which coats the outermost layers of bark and helps protect them from freezing damage.
Some types of trees also go through a process called “dormancy” during the winter months. This is when leaves fall off and branches stop growing in order to conserve energy until warmer weather returns. During this period, trees use stored sugars and other carbohydrates as energy sources instead of relying on photosynthesis like they do during warmer months. The dormancy period allows trees time to rest while helping them conserve energy so they can thrive again when temperatures rise.

Spring Revival

When spring arrives, most species of trees will quickly break out of their dormancy state and start their growth cycles once again. They begin producing new leaves, flowers, and fruit as days become longer and temperatures increase. Additionally, warmer air increases photosynthesis activity which helps stimulate growth throughout the tree’s entire body. Some types of deciduous trees will also reabsorb nutrients from their old leaves which are then used for new growth during springtime.
Nature truly is amazing. With its special processes for surviving cold winters, it’s no wonder why many homeowners in Kelowna choose to plant them in their yards year after year. If you’re looking for a way to beautify your property this spring season, consider planting a few trees (or we can do that for you) that will last you through years of changing seasons. And, when you need help pruning, or any issue for general tree health, give us a call. We love trees and we know you do too.
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