Roots continue growth and consumption of nutrients long after leaves fall into December. For a period of time, trees go through a process called dormancy, similar to hibernation. Within a tree, things tend to slow down, such as its metabolism, energy, consumption, growth, etc.
Once spring settles in, trees breakout out of their dormant state. This allows for them to get back to normality and have a flourishing work flow to nourish future leaves to grow.
Nutrition spikes such as the ones below, provide those nutrients the roots can somewhat absorb throughout dormancy and then already be in the ground when the roots resume functioning in the spring.
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