Are you knew to Tampa Bay or Palm Harbor, Florida? Or, are you new to understanding landscaping and caring for trees? Are wondering if trees change in our winter season here in warm sunny Florida? Well, we will answer that question and some more in this blog.
Yes, even though Florida has a warmer climate most of the year, many commonly Florida grown trees do go dormant and completely lose their leaves in the winter months. When the temperature outside starts to come down, and we move into our “winter season,” we receive a lot of inquiries asking if their tree is dying as the leaves are turning brown and dropping.
Expect that crape myrtles, elms (drake & winged,) red maple, sweetgums, sycamore, and weeping willow will begin their dormancy phase in the cooler winter months. Their leaves will return starting in the springtime. A couple of other tree varieties may “shed” (lose some of their leaves, but not entirely) including magnolias and live oaks. Yellowing or browning of leaves with the species listed above is a normal process as they get acclimated to the winter.
Tampa’s coldest month is typically January when the average temperature overnight is 52.4°F.
Unless they are summer-deciduous in the warmer climate, they usually will lose leaves in fall in both regions. Both sugar maple trees in Florida and in Wisconsin will lose their leaves near the end of the warm season.
Depend on which trees you are talking about. Some do, and some don’t. As with so many things in the plant world, it all depends on the species. In the sub-tropical areas of the USA (most of Florida, some of California, a bit of Texas) there are trees that lose their leaves in the fall.
In Florida, some trees that lose leaves in the fall (November) are bald cypress, Florida maple, sweetgum, crepe myrtle, and golden rain tree and some oaks. Magnolia, some oaks, camphor, and citrus are trees that are green all year and they drop old leaves during much of the year and make new ones to replace them as they go.
Oak Trees are amazing. In Florida, Oak Trees differ from season to season within each species. A particular variety of Oak may generally lose 1/3 of its foliage in March, in some years it will lose all its foliage. Oak trees are the kings of the forest in the Northern Hemisphere, having over 600 species, adapted to almost all environmental systems, from sub-arctic to tropical. We have at least 19 species of Oak Trees that are native to Florida.
Leaves are responsible for producing food by photosynthesis. In states where the ground freezes in the winter or dries out in the summer (e.g., Mediterranean climates), shedding leaves prevents water stress. This is because the trade-off necessary to photosynthesize is that a plant has to open the stomates on its leaves, which allows water to escape the plant quickly. Therefore, if the ground is too dry or the water in the ground is tied up in the form of ice, rapid photosynthesis cannot happen without drying out the plant. Losing leaves does halt photosynthesis, but it is far better than getting air embolisms in the water-conducting vessels of the stem.
Leaf “turnover” is also likely a mechanism to increase the photosynthetic capacity of the whole plant during the growing season. If old, worn-out leaves stayed on the plant, the rate of photosynthesis would become pretty low over time due to leaf damage and a general physiological decline that comes with leafage. Also, if old leaves stayed on, any new leaves would shade out old leaves, rendering them useless for photosynthesis anyways.
Forever Green Landscaping & Tree Service provides emergency tree removal services in St. Petersburg and throughout Tampa Bay.
If you have any problems with your palm trees in Tampa Bay, work with an experienced tree service to diagnose the issue, and either treat the disease or remove the palm tree to avoid transferring the disease to other trees on your property.
If you need a quality tree service to trim and prune your trees, give us a call today at 727-525-7433 to schedule your complimentary estimate.
Forever Green Landscape and Tree Service is a full-service tree company located in St. Petersburg, Florida that has been serving Tampa Bay since 1978. If you are looking for tree care services – from removing dead or diseased trees, trimming overgrown or hazardous trees and delicately pruning valuable fruit trees, and stump grinding – you can count on our reasonable rates and quality workmanship. Contact us today at 727-525-7433 to schedule your complimentary estimate.