Why is my tree not growing leaves in Spring? In this post, our team at J&D Tree Pros explains why this common issue occurs and when it’s really a problem.
Whether you need help with tree care or trusted tree removal in Apex, NC, you can count on our experts.
What to Look for if Your Tree is Not Growing Leaves in Spring
If your tree isn’t producing leaves in the spring, ask the following questions.
Is the Tree a Late Bloomer?
Many species bloom in the early spring, but some hold off longer than others. For example, Cape Myrtles and Black Walnuts leaf out later in the season naturally.
If this is not the case, consider the weather. Has it been unseasonably cold? If so, it may trick the tree into thinking that it’s still winter, which can delay leaves.
Are There Signs of Tree Death?
Checking for signs of tree death involves the same steps as learning why your tree is losing leaves prematurely. You want to perform a scratch test on several branches and in a couple of spots along the bark.
Score the wood to get a look at the tissue under the bark. If you find that it is green and moist, the tree is still alive. If this is dry, cut a little deeper.
If you still don’t find any green tissue, try to snap off a twig and check the inside for any signs of living cells. If the branch is dry and breaks easily, it is likely dead. If it is flexible, the tree is still alive.
Are There Signs of Pests?
Taking care of trees isn’t always easy. Several pests could infest your tree. Carefully check for signs of pests and the damage they cause.
For example, termites might leave small holes in the bark or create a network of mud tubes. Look out for signs of unusual damage, webs, insects, or eggs.
Are There Signs of Fungal Diseases or Other Common Tree Diseases?
Diseases are another answer to, “Why is my tree not growing leaves?” Unfortunately, the signs aren’t always obvious. Check for abnormal growths on the bark or root rot.
Is There a Drought?
Is there currently a drought in your area? If so, your tree is unlikely to produce leaves because it is distressed. If you can, water the tree to help it recover.
Is the Tree Healthy?
Without leaves, it is difficult to tell if a tree seems healthy or not. You can, however, look at the branches and also check for new growth. A stressed tree might put out several new sprouts to rebuild its canopy if it experienced damage during winter. Therefore, top-heavy growth is not always a good sign.
Other signs that indicate poor health are peeling bark, cracks, brittle branches, droopy branches, and a general loss of vitality.