To be poor and be without trees, is to be the most starved human being in the world. To be poor and have trees, is to be completely rich in ways that money can never buy.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Which Can Never Die.
We know what sugar maples are doing in March when freezing nights and halcyon days prompt sweet sap to flow.
At the end of winter, here in the West, it depends on where you are regarding what trees are up to. Trees could still be hibernating, in bud, or in magnificent full bloom.
The first awakening is an inevitable sense to grow, taking place in the meristem cells located along the tree’s trunk and branches .A meristem is the plant tissue found where plant growth can take place. Meristematic cells give rise to various organs of the plant. These cells divide to form a new cambium layer pinched between the outer bark and outer sapwood, adding a new layer of living cells atop the previous heartwood. Resulting, as we know, in new tree rings.
When temperatures rise about 40 degrees F.meristems produce auxins at the top of the conifers which become cones. Some become male or pollen cones, and some transform into female or seed cones.
Soon, the small pollen cones magically open just in time to spread via wind their fertilizer to the seed cones. Interestingly, the male cones are located on lower branches in order to spread pollen to adjacent trees not to the female cones above them in the same tree.
At the root of it all, minimum temperatures for root growth are thought to be between 32 and 42°F. and roots are independent, growing earlier than shoots, and opportunistically when they please despite what the tree is doing above ground. Successful trees have their taproot plunging down in March. Other roots are fanning out and concentrate into the top few centimeters of the soil.
Trees are awake and they are busy! ~