In some years our kids will be sledding every weekend and in other years we are lucky to get to go sledding at all.
A common misconception about tree care is that tree care is only necessary during warm months in spring and summer, then falls off with the leaves during autumn and winter.
Most homeowners will water during summer, but once the irrigation is turned off for the season the weekend waterings stop.
Winter watering trees, especially large trees with mature root systems, is important for their health and longevity.
Here are some winter watering tips:
- Place mulch rings in the fall. Mulch rings will help retain moisture in the soil and protect exposed roots from freezing.
- Check temperatures. Make sure you are watering when the temperatures will be above 40 degrees to allow the water to soak into the soil before the night temperature drops.
- Water approximately 10 gallons of water per diameter inch of the tree trunk. A 10” diameter trunk will need 100 gallons of water. Deep root watering to 12” below the surface is best.
- Winter watering should be done approximately two times a month, always dependent on weather, snow fall and soil moisture.
- Call an expert. When in doubt call in a professional ISA certified arborist to discuss winter care of your trees and to help you set up a care plan.
It is important to properly prune your trees during drought periods to remove dead and weakened limbs, improve structure, limb stability and to promote health and longevity for resistance against pests.
Drought adds additional stress on trees and without proper watering you may see less leafing out in the spring, more broken branches, and it is possible for iron chlorisis to develop because of a suffering root structure. A suffering root structure compromises the tree’s ability to take up iron and other nutrients.
Winter watering is an important component of tree maintenance procedures and can help your trees get off to a good start each spring.