Should I water my trees in the winter?
With the warm temperatures and lack of snow here in Northern Nevada it is hard to believe its winter. As I’m sure most of you are, I continue to hope for snow and wish things would return to the record setting snowfall that we experienced a year ago. Last year it seemed that we got snow almost every other day, so one would naturally assume that with a winter like that you wouldn’t need to water your trees at all.
However, even before the snow melted the calls started coming in from clients who were experiencing sick trees. At first we didn’t think anything about all the calls, and didn’t put two and two together, but before long the arborists on staff began to connect the dots; all the sick trees were as a result of a lack of water all winter. We found that many people never even thought about watering their trees especially with all the snow they watched fall all winter.
Now here we are a year later, and there is not only no snow here in Reno, but there isn’t any snow to speak of in the mountains either. Combine that with the warm temperatures of late and not manually watering your trees for many months and you are sure to have some tree problems come spring.
A good rule of thumb that we like to tell our clients is that every fall when you shut off all the automatic watering systems in your yard, start watering your trees with a hose on all the holidays. During the winter time it seems that we get a holiday anywhere from every two to four weeks, and it happens to be a good schedule for watering your trees. As far as for how long and how high to have the hose up the, that is going to very from tree to tree. The bigger the tree the more water it is going to need. The harder, and more clay like the soil around your tree is, the slower and longer you should water you trees. The softer, and more sandy the soil around your tree, the shorter and faster you can leave the hose on.
Also, during the winter it is best to water your trees in the late mornings and afternoons. During this time the soil has warmed up enough so that it can absorb the water and gives the water enough time to sink in so that it doesn’t freeze once the cold air of the night returns. If you are having trouble getting the water to absorb into the soil, consider getting yourself a ross root feeder to get the water down deep. Lastly, If you have any questions about the health of your tree or how much to water it make sure to contact a certified arborist near your.
Take care and remember your trees even when its cold outside.