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Fall is here, and this is when everybody gets their sprinklers blown out. Just because we get our sprinklers winterized, that doesn’t mean we are done watering until Spring. We must ensure that our trees get watered all winter long. So yes, that means we have to drag the hose out there and water the trees every month. I will explain how and when to winter in this newsletter, but I will also attach the fact sheet on it from the CSU extension

Most of our trees in the Grand Valley are not native and need supplemental water in the dormant season. We get some snow, but it is not enough to support our trees, especially our bigger mature ones. For every 12 inches of snow we get, it only amounts to less than 1 inch of actual water. This is why it is VERY important for us to step in and give them enough water in the winter. 

Here are five easy steps on how to winter water:

  1. Always use a hose with a sprinkler head on the end to disperse the water.
  2. Water under the ENTIRE canopy of the tree. This means you will have to move it around on larger trees.
  3. Apply 10 gallons of water for every 1 diameter of trunk inch. If you have a 20-inch trunk, you will need to apply 200 gallons of water.
  4. Water EVERY month when there is no snow on the ground, and the air temperature is above freezing. Even if we get some snow, still water that month in between snow storms.
  5. Disconnect and drain your hose so it doesn’t freeze, and can also use it for the following months. 

After explaining this, many people ask, “How do I know how much water is being applied?” We want to keep this simple so that everybody will actually water. We have done several pressure tests on homeowners’ hoses. When on full blast, most hoses put out 5 gallons per minute, which calculates to 50 gallons every 10 minutes and 300 gallons in 1 hour. In the example above, a 20-inch trunk needs 200 gallons of water every month. To get that much down, you would have to water it for 40 minutes on full blast. 

Hopefully, you find this simple, clear, and helpful. If you have any questions on winter watering, please contact us to speak with one of our Certified Arborists. Also, if you don’t have the time or don’t want to water your trees in the winter months, we provide this service and can bring water onsite. Call us to set up an appointment to get an estimate on winter watering your trees. 

Teddy Hildebrandt

Author Teddy Hildebrandt

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