Spring Brings Desert Willow Growth

Sat, March 12, 2016 3:21 PM | Danielle Corral

As we approach the beginning of spring, several customers have reached out to us with good news about their young Desert Willow trees.

During the fall and winter Desert Willows undergo winter dormancy and young trees often look like a barren stick in the ground. New tree owners voice concerns that their trees are dead but we explain winter dormancy behavior and encourage them to continue caring for their trees. When consistent heat kicks in, we assure them, Desert Willows will show signs of growth such as small green buds on the tips of branches. Understandably, doubt persists as people watch a stick in the ground to continue to look like a stick in the ground for several months. This past month, however, as temperatures reached 80 and 90 degrees, Desert Willows have begun waking up! Below is a picture of a Desert Willow planted this past fall that appeared “dead” up until last week when the tree owner sent us an updated photo of new spring growth on the branches!

Another tree owner was concerned about her newly planted Desert Willow but last week she noticed that the tree trunk had turned from an auburn-brown to a gray and bits of green buds began sprouting on the branches (pictured right--notice the two different bark colors on the left).

It’s important to have patience with trees, especially young trees. Trees planted right when the cool weather sets in can go straight into winter dormancy for protection to conserve food supplies and, therefore, show minimal or no growth.  But, alas, when the heat hits they are ready to take off!

If you are concerned about your tree, make sure to read our blogs on how to protect your trees during winter and how to diagnose and treat common tree issues. If your tree is exhibiting winter dormancy behavior, make sure to still properly water it and look for the following signs come spring:

  • The color of the main trunk might change from amber-brownish to a light gray as the bark matures
  • Young, small green or white buds appear on the main branches
  • Gently scrap the tree bark and look for white or green color underneath
  • Other small branches start to grow from the main trunk

You can post any question on our ask the arborist forum where our volunteer certified arborist will provide free advice. If you have a Desert Willow (or other tree type) success story, please share it with us!

Resources:

http://www.vpaaz.wildapricot.org/STBlog/3111687

http://www.vpaaz.wildapricot.org/STBlog/3673318

http://www.vpaaz.wildapricot.org/STBlog/3105996

http://www.vpaaz.wildapricot.org/askthearborist 

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