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Ordinarily, my bushes shed the leaves in fall/winter. This last fall / winter (2017-18), they just turned brown and remain on the bushes and trees. Odd?
The reason is that we had quick early cold winter temperatures and up until that time it was fairly mild. Normally, there is a slow degradation of temperatures, and trees adjust to this and prepare themselves for winter dropping their leaves so as not to lose too much moisture through them. When trees are preparing for winter the connection between the leaf stems and the branch, the abscission layer, produce an enzyme that facilitates the falling of the leaves. With our sudden cold temperatures this did not occur and hence your trees and bushes still have their dried brown leaves on them. Come spring they should be ‘pushed’ off the twigs when the new leaves begin growing.