Most people know that trees go “Dormant” in the Winter, almost as if they are asleep. But the trees are not really asleep, they've just slowed down. Their roots continue to grow!
Covered by soil, their roots continue to reach out for nutrients and water all winter long. The roots aren't growing as rapidly as they do in the spring and summer, but they still draw up moisture from the surrounding soil and send that moisture up into the bare branches. The branches then release that moisture into the air. And so the leafless trees slowly “breathe” in the cold months just like they do in the warm months of the year.
Our dormant apple trees in the orchard rely on a slow-moving river of groundwater that flows through the soil during the winter months. This very slow-moving groundwater in the soil is supplied by rain and snow throughout the year. It helps the little rootlets to drink up groundwater if the orchard soil is rich in organic matter and covered by a warm blanket of protective vegetation.
Isn't it amazing that trees never stop growing?! Summer Fall Winter Spring, our apple trees are filled with life. They are a lot like me – I speed up in the Spring and slow down in the Winter.