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Lenox Park

A Letter from Great Oaks
Posted on Apr 30th, 2019

Depending on when a tree heads into dormancy in the fall due to temperature drop normal for the early winter time frame, the trees set up new buds for the following spring. These buds remain dormant over winter till the warm spring temperatures. As the warming begins, the buds start to swell/grow. When the temps are consistent in the spring the leaves eventually emerge. All trees will emerge at different times. Now when the trees go dormant in the fall and we have a temperature spike (spring-like temperatures) in say like December into January as we did have, the trees start to come out of dormancy. The buds start to swell like they normally would, developing the initial leaves under the protective bud scales. As with any living thing they have moisture in their cell structures. So, when the next cold spell comes in, it has the possibility of damaging the buds by causing late spring leaf production (I have seen no leafing out as far as late May or June as in 2014), winter desiccant (burn/freezing, blackening of the bud), or even killing the buds altogether. With the temperature range, we hit a few times in February, there is the possibility of this type of damage. Nothing may happen at all. With these sporadic temperatures, when a tree is dormant it’s hard to ascertain the outcome sometimes. The benefit within the last several months is the amount of rainfall we have had the second half of 2018. Until that time, we technically have been in a drought for almost two and a half to three years. This has aided to relieve the stress from the drought-like conditions in the last couple of summers. Making the winter less difficult to survive. The cold snaps did happen frequently; however, they did not last long when compared to what happened in 2014. Only time will tell in the next month or two what will happen. 
I hope this information is helpful. If there are any questions or concerns please feel free to notify the H.O.A. We will get back to it as soon as possible. 
Thank you for your time. 
Kevin M. Ashlin 
Great Oaks Landscape and Maintenance 
Certified Arborist MI-4174A