During the cold winter months trees tend to behave like “bears”. Whereas bears hibernate, your trees go into a state of dormancy where all functions slow down.
During the cold winter months trees consume very little energy. Their metabolism slows as does their growth.
In the fall, trees produce a chemical called Abscisis Acid which forms in the terminal buds of the tree. Abscisic Acid, also referred to as ABA, is the chemical that tells the tree to drop its leaves so that it can prepare for winter. In addition, this same chemical tells the cells not to divide, which impedes the trees ability to grow. In the spring, the ABA dissipates and the tree starts the process of foliation.
Wintertime is an excellent time to prune and deadwood your trees as they tend to vigorously foliate in the spring with the exception of some fruiting and flowering trees. The composition and structure of the tree is easily seen due to the lack of foliage in the winter. With this, interfering and dead limbs can be targeted and removed allowing for improved structural integrity.
As is the case with bears, your trees will begin to stir in the latter days of winter as they prepare for another season of growth.