No doubt, you eagerly watch your trees, waiting for them to pop to life–full of leaves and colorful flowers.
But maybe this year the clock is a little off, and the buds still aren’t breaking. What’s going on?
Use the tips below to get to the root of the problem, and figure out the best way to help your tree.
Why Are My Tree’s Buds Not Opening & Turning Into Leaves?
If your tree has buds, but no leaves, there’s likely a good reason the buds remain cooped up.
The tree is a late-bloomer and won’t produce leaves until summer.
Some plants’ bloom period is later in spring or early summer as a defense mechanism for late spring freezes.
The tree has a structural issue, restricted root system or poor soil that prevents it from gaining the nutrients it needs to grow properly.
Sometimes trees with thin bark or trees planted in the wrong hardiness zone can have wood and buds that become damaged and don’t leaf out due to extreme temperatures
What Can I Do If My Tree Has Buds, But No Leaves?
Bare canopies often point to tree stress. Your tree likely wants to bloom, so it can use its leaves to create more food. But, at the same time, the tree may be too weak to make that happen.
Help your tree by creating and enacting a proper plant health care plan all year—not just when there’s a problem. Adequate water, mulch and fertilizer will help your tree remain healthy and survive stressful periods.
Will My Tree Die If Its Buds Are Not Turning Into Leaves?
It’s easy to find out if your tree will be OK. Here’s how:
First, pinch a few buds sporadically throughout the tree. If they’re green and moist on the inside, these plant health care tips should be all your tree needs. But if the tree buds are black and shriveled, that’s an issue, and your tree needs a visit from the tree doctor.
Then, inspect the tree for signs of borer infestation. Look for sawdust, tiny holes in the bark, streaks under the bark, oozing cankers or anything else unusual. Call an arborist if you see something worrisome.