Early dormancy involves a number of phenomena: cessation of active growth, formation of terminal buds, formation of abscission layers in leaves, development of cold resistance, development of winter rest (a chilling requirement), and leaf fall.
With trees and shrubs, you can perform what is known as the snap-scratch test. This test is as simple as it sounds. Just try snapping a branch of the tree or shrub. If it snaps easily and looks gray or brown throughout its inside, the branch is dead.
For plants, dormancy declares when to prepare their soft tissues for freezing temperatures, dry weather, or water and nutrient shortage. Instead of exerting energy in an attempt to grow, they know to stop growing and conserve energy until mild weather returns.
On average a tree in the northern hemisphere needs to go through 60 days where the temperature is below 40 degrees for the abscisic acid to break down enough to allow the tree to leaf out once favorable conditions arrive.
Identifying whether a tree is dead or living can sometimes be a very tricky task – especially in the winter time when every tree can look dead. While it is possible, yet sometimes difficult, to revive some sick or dying trees it is impossible to bring a dead tree back to life.
Given that plants do not have pain receptors, nerves, or a brain, they do not feel pain as we members of the animal kingdom understand it. Uprooting a carrot or trimming a hedge is not a form of botanical torture, and you can bite into that apple without worry.
By pruning it or cutting dead branches on tree, it lets the other branches grow more evenly and allows for the nutrients to get where they need to go. By removing the dead limb, the tree can now focus on all the healthy limbs, not just one sick one.
If your tree doesn’t produce leaves, or leaves are only present on a portion of the tree, it could be a sign that the tree is dying. Another symptom of a dead tree is brittle bark or a lack of bark. When a tree starts losing its bark or has lost its bark, chances are the tree is dead.
Depending on your location, it can take weeks for plants to come out of dormancy in spring. To revive a dormant plant indoors, bring it back into indirect light. Give it a thorough watering and a boost of fertilizer (diluted at half strength) to encourage new growth.
If the stem is mushy or brittle, check the roots for the same conditions. The roots, too, should be pliable but firm. If both the stems and roots are brittle or mushy, the plant is dead and you will simply need to start over.
Aestivation. Aestivation, also spelled estivation, is an example of consequential dormancy in response to very hot or dry conditions. It is common in invertebrates such as the garden snail and worm but also occurs in other animals such as lungfish, salamanders, desert tortoises, and crocodiles.
Trees which are dormant don’t need to be watered as frequently as during the growing season. When there is little to no snow cover and little precipitation, plan on watering your trees one to two times per month until they begin leafing out in the spring. Trees like their water slow and deep.
During dormancy, plants stop growing and conserve energy until better cultural conditions present themselves. Many a perennial has been lost for the growing season when an unseasonably warm spell causes the plant to break dormancy and send up green growth, which is then killed when the weather returns to cold.
Trees start racking up chill hours at 44 degrees F, and it is generally accepted that below 30 degrees F, chill hours don’t accumulate. It’s the time spent between 44 and 30 degrees F, generally through fall to midwinter, that counts.
Repot your money tree in equal parts potting soil, peat and perlite in a pot with a drainage hole to avoid having its roots sit in water if your plant shows signs of being consistently wet. Allow soil in the new pot to dry completely between waterings.