Landscape Logic: Trees need water too | VailDaily.com

Landscape Logic: Trees need water too

Becky Garber
Landscape Logic

While the grass in our lawns go dormant over the fall and winter months as a defense mechanism, trees can potentially die. Take care of them now to they return in the spring.

Fall is when we need to start paying attention to the moisture our trees need to survive the months ahead. Trees are the most valuable elements of our landscapes and we need to be ready to water them this fall and winter.

Here's why: In many parts of Colorado, October 2018 to date has received less than 1 inch of precipitation. This dry spell follows on the heels of a hot, dry September during which temperatures were above normal and overall precipitation was 78 percent below normal.

Trees are not like most lawns in Colorado. Lawns under drought stress go dormant as their coping mechanism and can usually be revived by watering. Trees, on the other hand, are not so resilient.

Any combination of three stressors can kill a tree. For example, drought stress, insects or disease and winter storm damage can all take out a tree.

Little control over insects

Since we often have little control over insects and disease and none over the weather, providing water is the one strike we can manage. Keeping a tree healthy by watering it regularly will also help it fight off pests and disease. Fertilization and proper pruning also bolster its viability.

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Trees are the most expensive plant investment in our yards and consequently, the most expensive to replace. Proper watering during fall and winter is the one key thing you can do to help maintain that investment.

Begin checking soil moisture now around trees and deep root water as needed. The radius for watering begins a few inches from the trunk and extends all the way out to where the tips of the branches reach over the soil below.

Pay it forward by watering trees during the fall and winter. They will return the kindness by giving you shade, cleaning the air surrounding you and making oxygen you'll breathe every day.