Research finds sleepy trees

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Since warmer winters can be expected as the climate changes, the spring development phase for many typical forest trees might start later and later – giving an advantage to shrubs and invasive trees from warmer climates that don’t depend on the cold as factor to time their spring regrowth.

Researchers at the Technische Universität München have investigated 36 tree and shrub species. Their work delivered a surprising result, as lead author Julia Laube explains: "Contrary to previous assumptions, the increasing length of the day in spring plays no big role in the timing of budding. An ample 'cold sleep' is what plants need in order to wake up on time in the spring."