Winter Watering Guidance for Denver Homeowners

Winter is in full swing and though we’ve gotten some snow, the greater Denver metro area is still somewhat behind normal on snowpack. This means your trees and shrubs may not be getting the water they need to make it through the winter healthily. Though watering during the winter does pose its own challenges, it’s essential if you want to keep your property in good shape. Keep these tips in mind as you water your trees this winter.

Only Water When There’s No Snow in the Forecast
Winter watering typically only needs to be done if there’s no snow on the ground. If you’ve got several inches of the white stuff around your tree trunks, you can likely skip watering for a few weeks. The snow will melt and the soil will gradually absorb that snowmelt. But if the ground is bare and there’s no snow in the forecast, especially for a few weeks, watering is a good idea.

If you’ve watered recently and snow falls sooner than you think may be beneficial, don’t panic. Snowfall shouldn’t hurt your trees even if the soil is still wet.

Water a Wider Area Than You Think Necessary
It might seem like you need to water just around the trunk of your tree, but the roots extend much farther out. Typically, you’ll want to water the area beneath the tree’s canopy. Look up and identify how far the longest branch extends out. Water out to that point all around your trees. 

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to give the tree one gallon for each inch of the trunk’s diameter. That means a tree with a 15-inch diameter trunk will need 15 gallons of water. Grab a soft measuring tape and measure around the tree’s trunk. Then, plan on watering the corresponding number of gallons. Just be sure to water slowly enough that the water can absorb into the soil without running off to your drainage area.

Don’t Water Too Often
In the summer months, you’ll need to water once a week or more depending on conditions. But in the winter, your tree isn’t actively growing, so it can go longer periods of time between watering without suffering damage. In fact, watering too often can end up damaging the tree during the winter.

Remember, colder soil conditions mean the water won’t evaporate off and the soil may stay moister for longer. If you water too often, you could end up causing root rot and fungal growth beneath the soil. If the rot is severe, it can lead to premature tree death. Not sure if the soil is dry enough? Consider waiting three weeks between watering sessions when conditions are dry. This should be long enough to keep your trees from developing rot.

Let Root Tree Service Help
Keeping your trees healthy and happy during the winter means making sure they have the water they need to survive until conditions warm up. But if you’re not sure how to care for your trees during the colder months, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. The plant health care team at Root Tree Service is here to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
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