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What Happens to Trees in Winter?

By Daniella Lauren
Deciduous trees drop their leaves in preparation for the winter months.
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Stems and woody tissues of trees are equipped to endure harsh winter temperatures, however fragile leaf tissues freeze and wither in the winter if the plant is not hardy enough.


Trees do not die during the winter; they just go into a form of hibernation called dormancy. Since there is less sunlight in the winter and the tree can’t produce as much food, trees must conserve their energy.


Growth slows in trees as the days begin to shorten and get colder. Since growth halts altogether during the winter months, avoid adding fertilizers late in the summer months so the tree does not produce new growth that can be damaged in winter.


A wax-like substance frequently covers the leaves and needles of evergreen trees. This wax resists freezing and protects from harsh winter elements. Leaves and needles that do fall from evergreens have died from old age, and may fall at any time of the year, not just in the autumn or winter.


About the Author


Daniella Lauren has worked with eHow and various new media sites as a freelance writer since 2009. Her work covers topics in education, business, and home and garden. Daniella holds a Master of Science in elementary education and a Bachelor of Arts in history from Pensacola Christian College.