What causes Trees to Bloom and what Happens when they Don’t?

blooming tree

blooming treeJohnson City TN

Spring is in full swing, and trees are budding their gorgeous colorful blooms. Trees and plants all around us are coming to life. We tend to think of spring as a time of renewal. Like a fresh start. But what does it mean when trees don’t bloom or if part of a tree doesn’t bud? It might not necessarily mean that your tree is dead. The first place to start is with a tree health evaluation by a professional arborist, like the ones on staff at Promier Tree. However, in the meantime, we’ll share what causes trees to bloom and why sometimes they don’t.


Daylight has a significant impact on when trees start blooming. During the winter, we experience fewer hours of sunlight, and it’s colder, which means trees enter dormancy. It doesn’t mean they are dead or suffering. They just draw their nutrients inward to conserve, which causes leaves to turn shades of orange, yellow, and red and eventually fall right before winter begins. Therefore, when spring arrives, daylight hours increase and trees sense the temperature changes and begin budding and blooming.

Time of Year

Trees sense the changing temperatures and can tell when the season begins warming. Tree species begin budding and blooming when they sense the right time of year has arrived. While all trees bud at varying times, they all pretty much sprout buds and leaves during the spring. Cold snaps, which we are accustomed to here in East Tennessee, can fool trees into thinking it’s officially spring, although cold, freezing temperatures still occur at night.

Natural Instinct

Trees have a natural instinct. They detect seasonal and temperature changes through their DNA, just like we do. Trees don’t rely on weather forecasts like we do. Instead, they sense the temperatures changes and know just when to bud and bloom. And just like humans, DNA found in trees also varies from species to species. Therefore, if you notice some trees blooming yet others aren’t yet, don’t fret. Most like, your healthy trees will begin blooming in no time.

Why aren’t my trees blooming?

Some trees may delay blooming due to the weather and temperatures. Some may not bloom until temperatures stabilize and are no longer dipping at or below freezing. If you aren’t sure whether your non-blooming trees have a problem, consider when they usually bloom. Does the budless tree normally bloom by this time of year, or is it a late bloomer? Before assuming the tree is unhealthy, be sure to take precautions by mulching around the base of the tree, adding fertilizer, and ensuring the tree gets enough water, including rainfall. Give your tree a chance to bloom and prove its health status before assuming the worst. Late bloomers are elms and oak trees, which prefer to bloom after the temperatures stabilize. However, birch ad willow trees typically bloom in early spring. Here in Kingsport, most trees begin blooming by mid-March, although we have experienced a few cold snaps more than usual this year. Therefore, if by April, your trees aren’t blooming or you notice specific areas of a tree that is without blooms, call Promier Tree for a tree health assessment.

Arborists in Kingsport, Johnson City, and Bristol, Tennessee

Trees can sometimes suffer from disease, pests, or fungi that inhibit their growth, which may affect their ability to bloom. If this is the case, an ISA-certified arborist in Kingsport is the best professional to assess the situation and provide care. Some trees may need to have dead or diseased limbs removed professionally to give the tree a chance to thrive. However, we recommend hiring a professional to do that job since it requires skill and specific safety equipment. If you’d like to learn more or schedule a tree health evaluation near you in Kingsport, call Promier Tree at (423) 765-2626 or contact us online today.