When it comes to needing Denver tree services in the winter, we know that a snowstorm with lots of moisture can just as easily be followed by a weeks-long drought. It might look like your trees are hibernating—especially when they have no leaves—but did you know that tree roots still grow during the winter?
Whether you have new or established trees, you want to make sure they make it to the spring. The recommendations for watering trees in Colorado is different from many other parts of the country because of our unique semi-arid conditions. Even if it snows, trees don’t get much water from that—approximately a half-inch of water for every foot of snow.
When there are long dry periods during the Winter, plant root systems can become compromised. This can weaken the entire plant, making it more susceptible to insect infestations, or tree diseases.
Read on for what you need to do to keep your trees healthy through the winter months.
Trees That Are Newly Planted
The general rule of thumb for new trees is that as long as there is snow in the winter, watering is probably not necessary. It’s more important be make sure your tree has plenty of water before the ground freezes. You probably won’t have to water them again until springtime.
There is an exception to this rule, however: If the winter is so mild the ground doesn’t freeze, your newly planted trees might need to be topped off with a bit more water. If your Evergreens start looking a bit brown, they might be thirsty—so go ahead and give them a drink. You might also water once or twice a month if there is a drought and temperatures are warm (above freezing).
Trees That Are Well Established
As mentioned previously, if your Evergreens—regardless of age—are starting to get brown needles, you should probably water them. If they look green, they are probably just fine.
Watering Instructions For Your Trees
Keep an eye on your trees during extended dry periods where there is no snow cover; you may want to plan on watering once or twice a month. It might seem alike a hassle to drag out the garden house in the middle of winter, but if your trees don’t get enough moisture, they may be in bad shape next summer. Root damage can affect the entire plant, and you might be in for an unpleasant surprise come spring.
The CSU extension website has the following recommendations for fall and winter watering:
- Limit watering to days that the air temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Water during mid-day so the moisture soaks into the ground before it has a chance to freeze at night. (Solid ice that stays on lawns for several weeks can harm the grass.)
- If your tree is in a windy area, it is more likely to need water.
- Trees that are located where reflected heat from structures and fences are also subject to more watering.