When are trees dormant?
We talk a lot about tree dormancy at Field & Forest Products and why it's important for mushroom growing. But you may be asking yourself "How do I know if a tree is still dormant?"
Generally dormancy is the period in the fall of the year, through the winter, until the early spring. You can read all about why dormancy is important in our blog: "Dormancy: When it is, What it is, and Why it is Important for Mushroom Cultivation".
What is an easy way to tell if a tree is still dormant?
Once the colors change in the fall of the year you can pretty safely bet that the tree has slipped into dormancy. It's a little more difficult to judge in the spring of the year, but one of the most fail-safe methods is to look at the buds of the tree.
A common misconception is that trees only have buds in the spring of the year, however trees keep their buds year-round. In the fall of the year tree buds will constrict and then in the spring of the year buds will swell and eventually break open.
What does a "swollen" tree bud look like?
An easy way to tell if a tree is still dormant in the spring of the year is to see if tree buds are broken or swollen. You can see a comparison of a dormant bud against a swollen bud in the top right photo above. Swollen tree buds will have leaves or flowers just starting to squeeze their way out of the bud. The tips of the bud will more often than not appear green.
What does a "broken" tree bud look like?
In the above left photos you can see the visual difference between buds in and out of dormancy. Broken buds, such as the middle photo will appear just that- broken, with flowers of leaves breaking through the surface.