How to Bring a Tree Out of Dormancy

While outdoor trees come out of dormancy by themselves, indoor or potted trees might need a little assistance from their owners. If you own potted trees that require shelter during winter, you’ll benefit from learning how to bring a tree out of dormancy without harming it. Our experts at Tree Workers of Phoenix provided some knowledge gained from our arborist services in Phoenix, AZ to help you out! 

Why Trees Go Dormant

Trees, among many other plant varieties, go dormant in late fall. A lack of active growth above ground characterizes this period of dormancy. Your tree will lose all its leaves, leaving only silent, bare branches behind. 

During the process of dormancy, the tree focuses its energy underground. It further develops its root system as the winter months wax and wane away. When temperatures stay consistently warm, it awakens again to accommodate new trunk, branch, and leaf growth. 

How to Bring a Tree Out of Dormancy

Before learning how to bring a tree out of dormancy, learn the basics of tree dormancy to protect your potted trees during autumn and winter. A proper dormancy protects your tree’s health when the weather gets warmer. Keep your potted trees in a dark, chilly area to fully initiate dormancy. 

#1 Move the Tree to a Sunny, Warm Location

During mid to late February, outdoor temperatures gradually warm up. However, you shouldn’t move your trees outdoors just yet. 

Retrieve them from their storage area and place them near a window with warm, filtered sunlight. The heat and light will signal an end to their dormant state. 

#2 Watch for New Growth

Be careful when watering your trees! They awaken very slowly. Until they awaken completely, they could develop root rot from too much water. 

You can give them a little water after bringing them into the light. But always check the soil for signs of moisture or dampness before providing fresh water. Keep an eye out for new growth like tiny leaf buds on the branches. 

#3 Begin Watering Regularly

Once you catch sight of fresh, green growth, begin a more frequent watering schedule. Your tree is healthy, awake, and ready for nourishment that further fuels its growth. Provide a low dose of fertilizer to nourish your tree. 

#4 Fertilize, Prune, and Enjoy!

After a month to a month and a half, your tree can handle a full dose of fertilizer. Choose a product suited to your tree’s needs. You can also make a homemade fertilizer at home. 

This is also a great time to prune the tree. Scour it for any dead or damaged branches that have yet to produce leaves. Clip those limbs off to ensure the tree’s continued health. 

Discover Better Tree Care and Knowledge from Tree Workers of Phoenix

At Tree Workers of Phoenix, we love trees just as much as you do. Our team helps property owners and tree enthusiasts excel in nurturing healthy, happy trees. Now that we’ve taught you how to bring a tree out of dormancy, learn how to tell if a tree is sick and contact us for assistance with diseased trees at 602-320-2797.


Tree Workers of Phoenix has been in business since 1994 and is a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and International Society of
Arboriculture (ISA).


18402 N. 19th Ave. #115

Phoenix, AZ 85023

Phone: 602-320-2797

Email :

Hours of Operation :

Monday - Sunday : 9:00am-5:00pm


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