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The Life Cycle of the Tree

by Guest on Feb 4, 2010

A tree’s life cycle begins with germination. An adult tree will drop seeds to the ground, usually in fall or winter, and the seed will lie dormant until spring. When the conditions are right, the dormant seed will start to receive warmth, water, sunlight, and oxygen. This will spark the growth of the baby tree embryo and begin its life cycle.

The baby tree will sprout a root, which will instinctively seek out groundwater. If it finds it, the root will then become submerged in the earth. As it takes root, a stem will sprout up towards the sun, usually carrying the seed casing with it, up into the air. As it straightens up and grows upright, it will drop the protective casing and start its life as a seedling.

Seedlings need extremely favorable conditions to survive to adulthood. Just a few too many days of dry conditions or sunlight can quickly kill a seedling. If you are growing a seedling, you will need to pay attention to the weather. Water your baby tree about every week to ten days. If conditions are dry and hot, you may need to water it twice a week. More is only necessary if you notice wilting leaves, or if a tree starts losing its leaves in the summer. Water generously, enough to soak down to the bottom of the roots. For baby trees, this may only require a one-minute watering from a water hose, but for larger trees, it may be closer to fifteen minutes. Do not water your trees too often. If you are in a hot climate, you may need to water more. Keep up this watering pattern for about the first year. One watering exception is during the late fall.

Trees need to prepare for winter. Watering or fertilizing during this time will keep the tree growing and prevent it from becoming dormant. Let the tree become dormant and drop its leaves. When the weather becomes cold and the tree has no leaves left, then you can assume that it is in a dormant state and continue your watering schedule. Make sure that you insulate the ground around the tree with mulch and snow if possible. Trees will spout leaves and some will flower in the spring. The flowers will turn to fruit in fruit trees. Other trees may just grow seeds. The seeds will eventually drop and lie dormant through the winter months until spring arrives again.

Then, the combination of sunlight, oxygen, and water will spark the seed to germinate once again. If conditions are exactly right, then the seed will produce another tree. This is the life cycle of the tree. It can be helpful to understand what is happening to your tree as you plant and take care of it for the first year. After the first year, you will need to contact an Arborist to find out if your tree is ready for pruning. Pruning at the right age is important to the strength and growth pattern of your tree.

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