A Living Time Capsule, Part One

Your trees are time capsules. Each ring records information about the weather temperature and moisture throughout the year. If there is a natural disaster, such as the fires we have experienced in Colorado, trees can record that too. Although you cannot do anything about the temperature, you can ensure that your trees are
recording positive things about the way you are watering and nurturing them. If you need help, Root Tree Service is here for you!


There are a few ways that you can help protect your tree from the extreme temperatures of the summer. For a particularly young or tender tree, a shade cloth may be useful. Another option is pruning your trees in the late winter or early spring, before the new growth begins, so there will be less of a demand for the precious water. The last way is by watering (see tips under the heading “Moisture”). During the harsh Colorado winters, protect your vulnerable trees from winter sunscald or frost
cracks by wrapping them with burlap or specially designed tree wrap. Wrapping “from Thanksgiving till Easter” will provide extra insulation and help prevent thin bark from cracking, and prevent the sun from scorching the inner bark.


Colorado summers can be hard on living things, and trees are no exception! While people lose their inner moisture through perspiration, the ground loses water through evaporation. To ensure that you tree does not get dehydrated during the summer, remember to water “below and slow when the sun is low.”

Below: Because the water is absorbed through the roots, make sure that you are watering the ground directly around your tree. If you are using an oscillating sprinkler, remember that you don’t need the water spray to reach high, you’re just trying to saturate the ground evenly.

Slow: “More” is not “better.” To successfully accomplish the goal of watering your tree roots, you must allow the ground to absorb the water. This takes time. A slow flow on low pressure is most effective. You can place a hose on low pressure near the base of your tree and let it sit 15- 20 minutes before moving it to a new position, and repeating until the tree has been watered for about an hour.

When the Sun is Low: During the summer, water in the morning or evening so the roots can absorb the water. Watering during the heat of the day results in evaporation, which means your tree isn’t getting as much water as you’re trying to give it.

As autumn is approaching, take a break from your leafy and pine trees until the leaves are done falling in your neighborhood. You can gather the fallen leaves around the base and roots of your trees to act like a blanket during the winter. When the leaves are gone, water low and slow every 10 days during the fall, to help them store water for the winter. Winter watering is important, but has to be done carefully. Water only when there is no snow above the roots and it is at least 40 degrees. Water “low and slow” during the warmest part of the day, so that the ground is thawed and can absorb the moisture.
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