Nothing says winter better than the snow, cold weather, and bare branches on what were once luscious green trees. However, as common as it is, the reason behind the lack of leaves is a mystery to many.
Have you been wondering, “Why do trees lose their leaves in winter?” Wonder no more. Read on as Milton’s trusted tree service company explains the fascinating science behind your tree’s leaf drop.
Why Trees Lose Their Leaves During Winter
Not all trees lose their leaves. For instance, evergreen trees will keep their leaves throughout winter. Also, some deciduous trees, like live oak trees, don’t drop their leaves during this period.
Why do trees lose their leaves in winter? The trees that lose their leaves do so to:
- Conserve their energy
- Conserve moisture within the trunk
- Reducing the strain they face during winter storms
How Trees Lose Their Leaves
Leaves are responsible for generating the energy trees need to grow. For that process to take place, sunlight must be present. However, as winter approaches and the days get shorter, there’s less and less sun. This reduces the amount of energy the leaves are able to produce.
With energy in short supply, it is usually more efficient for trees to drop their leaves and go into dormancy. How do they do this?
Trees have a layer of cells called the abscission layer located at the point where the leaves and the branches meet. This layer allows the leaves to pass the energy they produce to the branch and trunk.
When autumn rolls around, the tree stops producing a hormone called auxin. This strains the abscission layer and weakens the bond between the leaves and branches. At this point, even the slightest breeze could blow the leaves away.
What About the Changing Colors?
Before your tree drops its leaves, it usually puts on a dazzling show, with leaves turning from green to different yellows, oranges, and reds.
What you might not know is that the green color that leaves display is the result of a chemical called chlorophyll. When the tree is preparing to lose its leaves, it will stop producing chlorophyll, leaving behind plenty of carotenes, which are yellow in color.
If the temperature stays warm, your tree will produce anthocyanins, causing the leaves to go from yellow to red and pink.
Professional Tree Services in Milton, GA
Usually, your tree losing its leaves isn’t a good sign. However, on some occasions, like winter, it is quite normal.
Why do trees lose their leaves in winter? They do so to survive the plummeting temperatures and harsh conditions. While such natural measures help your trees get through this rough season, there are some steps you can take to get your tree better prepared for winter.
At Georgia Tree Company (GTC), we are committed to offering services that promise to safeguard your tree’s well-being. We can even help you learn how to bring a tree back to life.
Call us today at 404-990-0010 to request a free estimate and schedule our services. Learn more today.