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As fall settles in, most of us have already winterized our sprinklers. But that doesn’t signal a break from watering until spring. Our trees, especially those not native to the Grand Valley, still thirst for hydration during the colder months. Even if snow graces our lawns, it doesn’t provide enough moisture for the trees to thrive. To illustrate, every 12 inches of snow yields less than an inch of actual water. This disparity underscores the importance of proactive winter watering.

Why Winter Watering is Essential

The majority of trees in the Grand Valley aren’t native, and thus require supplemental hydration during their dormant phase. Even though snowfall is a regular occurrence, its water content is insufficient to sustain our trees, particularly the larger, mature ones.

A 5-Step Guide to Effective Winter Watering

  1. Use a Hose with a Sprinkler Head: Ensure the water disperses evenly by attaching a sprinkler head to your hose’s end.
  2. Water the Entire Canopy: For comprehensive coverage, especially with larger trees, you may need to move the hose around.
  3. Calculate the Required Water: Apply 10 gallons of water for every inch in diameter of the tree trunk. For instance, a tree with a 20-inch diameter trunk needs 200 gallons of water monthly.
  4. Monthly Watering is Key: Water your trees every month, particularly when there’s no snow cover and the temperature is above freezing. Even if it snows, make sure to water in between snowfalls.
  5. Maintain Your Equipment: After use, disconnect and drain your hose to prevent freezing, ensuring it’s ready for the next month’s watering.

To address a common query: how can you gauge the amount of water being dispensed? Most hoses, when on full blast, release about 5 gallons per minute. That’s 300 gallons in an hour. So, to hydrate a tree with a 20-inch diameter trunk, you’d need to water it for roughly 40 minutes at full blast.

Final Thoughts

I hope this guide clarifies the necessity and method of winter watering. If you have further queries or need assistance with the process, please reach out to our team of Certified Arborists. Additionally, if you’re pressed for time or would rather have professionals handle the winter watering, we offer this service and can bring water directly to your site. Contact us today to schedule an estimate for winter watering your trees.

Teddy Hildebrandt

Author Teddy Hildebrandt

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