Do Trees Grow In Winter

  • By: CarlBroadbent
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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Trees grow throughout all seasons. However, their growth rate will differ depending on the climate and time of year. The difference in growth is associated with the temperature and the amount of water available for the trees. Trees can grow and be healthy even in winter.

Trees growing slow in winter
Do trees grow in winter

However, they cannot grow in regions such as Dakota and Minnesota that experience below-freezing temperatures.

The trees can still grow in areas where the winter temperature is slightly above freezing, for example, most of California.

Do Trees Grow In Winter?

It is crucial to plant trees when the weather is favorable.

Plants require sunlight, water, and fertile soil to enable optimum growth. Different seasons have varying weather, which will affect the development of trees.

Some places experience temperatures that are below the freezing point during the winter.

In This Case – The water around the roots will freeze, and the tree will not be able to absorb it. Also, sunlight vital for tree growth will not be available most of the day.

The tree may not survive winter if the plant has not developed its root network appropriately.

On the other hand, some places do not experience frigid temperatures in winter.

Trees snowing
Trees in wintertime

The temperatures of some areas may be around 50 degrees Fahrenheit which is quite favorable.

Therefore, the trees will survive if other necessary conditions such as good soil and water are met. 

That said, some trees continue to grow regardless of how cold it gets. Some of these trees include:

  • Dwarf Juniper
  • Willow
  • Cedar
  • Wintergreen
  • Oak
  • Beech trees
  • Witch hazel trees

Is It Wise To Plant Trees In Winter?

Planting in winter can be both a good and bad decision.

It depends on the region because some places experience mild winters while others have frigid winters.

If you live in an area with heavy winter snow, it will not be wise to plant or transplant your trees during this time.

Conversely, some people have argued it is better to plant your trees in winter, especially during mild spells.

Plant a tree
Best time to plant a tree

This is especially true if you live in Florida or Alabama. Actually, it is ideal to plant from November through March in some of these places.

In Some Regions – The tree might have stunted growth and seem inactive, but the roots will remain alive and provide the plant with the necessary nutrients.

At the onset of spring, the roots will have spread appropriately, and the tree will be acclimatized to the prevailing conditions.  

Also, note that during winter, there is little vegetation growth.

Therefore, your trees will not compete for nutrients in the soil with weeds.

During summer and spring, the trees will need a lot of management due to the high growth of weeds. 

RegionTree To PlantTime To Plant
TexasLive oaks Cedar Elm Texas Mountain LaurelOctober through March
LouisianaMaple Sweetgum Witch HazelNovember or December
FloridaWillow Red Cedar  Anytime
GeorgiaRed oaks Maples Sycamores Weeping willowsNovember through January
AlabamaMagnolia Trees Bald Cypress November through March
South CarolinaOak Tree Fir TreesDecember or January

When Do Trees Grow Faster?

Several factors determine the growth rate of trees.

These factors include:

  • the region
  • tree species
  • soil type
  • and water availability

Since tropical areas are not affected much by the seasons, the trees in these regions will remain green at most times of the year.

Trees grow faster in Summer
Trees grow faster through Summer

However, it is fair to conclude that trees grow better during spring and summer.

In regions that have distinct summers and winters, the trees will thrive during summer. The amount of sunlight available dramatically impacts the growth of trees.

Sunlight is a vital component in the process of photosynthesis.

Thus, trees tend to grow faster during summer and spring since they are exposed to sunlight for extended periods.

Factors That Limit Growth Of Trees In Winter

Apart from sunlight, other factors affect the growth of trees during winter.

For growth to occur, a tree needs water and other nutrients to enhance its growth.

Poor soil that does not have these nutrients will not be beneficial to the plant.

Even though you can water your trees during winter, the rainfall available during summer and spring revitalizes the soil.

Lifespan Maple Tree
Enormous maple tree

The early summer rains have a lot of nitrogen, an essential mineral that speeds up the growth of trees.

Essentially – Lightning energy breaks down the nitrogen molecules in the air. The process releases nitrogen atoms that combine with oxygen to form nitrogen oxides. These oxides dissolve in rainwater to form essential nitrates in the soils.

Also, trees shed leaves during fall and early winter to conserve energy.

The energy saved during winter ensures that the tree survives the hibernation phase.

Also, the leaves shed add nutrients to the soil, which is why the trees thrive during summer. 

When Is The Right Time To Plant Trees

Basically, the suitable period of the year to plant trees depends on where you live.

Trees can be planted at any time of the year if you live in tropical regions. The most critical aspect in those regions is rainfall. 

Maple tree planting tips
Planting Maple tree

For colder regions with harsh summers and winters, you might need to plant your trees when the temperatures are not too cold.

Therefore, planting early in spring will be a great idea. The sunlight and temperate temperatures will allow the trees to produce healthy leaves and develop strong roots.

During Summer – The trees will take advantage of the longer days and produce more food.

By the time it is winter, the trees will have matured and can handle the extreme temperatures. You only need to mulch the trees to optimize their growth.

However, you can still plant your trees during early summer if you live in states that do not experience freezing temperatures.

For instance, in Florida, the trees can be planted during the onset of winter. Proper management will ensure the trees grow healthy amidst the low temperatures. 

Can You Speed Tree Growth In Winter?

Spreading a bit of mulch on your tree bed will create insulation that can help your tree during winter.

This is particularly useful for young seedlings. Also, watering the trees regularly will be an advantage.

Use Cedar mulch around tree
Cedar mulch

Importantly, providing your tree plant with the right environment will enhance its growth.

You can use generic fertilizer to boost phosphorus content if the soil is not fertile enough. However, note that different tree species require different care.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the growth of trees is affected by the season.

Sunlight and water play an important role in photosynthesis, which is why trees thrive in spring.

If you live in regions that experience freezing temperatures, plant your trees before the onset of winter. 

If you plant your trees in winter, ensure to take care of them by ensuring the soil has the appropriate nutrients.

Providing a little mulch can help the tree roots withstand freezing temperatures.