Jayden Homes builds Colorado Springs custom homes in El Paso County and surrounding areas. Maintaining fresh and established landscaping can be challenging in the winter in an alpine desert climate like that of Colorado. This winter is shaping up to be a dry one and the recent U.S. Drought Monitor map indicates that nearly all of Colorado is currently experiencing some level of drought. Trees throughout this region are dormant now, but still require occasional watering during dry winters to remain in top health. Winter watering rules apply if trees or shrubs go without snow cover for more than two weeks.
Adequately watering your trees is the best way to ensure optimum health and vigor that will carry through to the growing season. Overly dry trees become susceptible to root and branch die-back, and subsequent insect and disease problems.
According to Mike Till, Colorado State Forest Division, the following winter watering tips should be followed to protect your trees and shrubs:
Water when it’s warm. The best time for winter watering is on days when snow has melted off and the temperature is above 40 degrees.
Water a wide area. Tree root systems may spread much wider than the height of the tree, with most absorbing roots in the top foot of soil. Apply water to soak the entire area underneath the full span of a tree’s branches.
Water slowly. To ensure deep penetration, use a drip or soaker hose on low setting, or soft spray wand, to apply water slowly to the full area at the rate of 10 gallons per inch of tree diameter.
Retain mulch or use weed fabrics. To retain soil moisture and save water, apply 4 inches of organic mulch onto bare soil within 2 to 3 feet from the base of the trunk, but not directly against the trunk. Place weed fabrics around trees or shrubs to reduce competition and retain soil moisture.
Repeat as necessary. Until abundant spring precipitation arrives, be sure to continue watering every few weeks in the absence of snow and colder temperatures.
Place snow piles near vegetation. When shoveling snow from sidewalks or driveways, pile it next to trees and shrubs to keep the soil wet as the snow melts.
Important Resources for Colorado Landscapes and Maintenance:
2018 Trees for Conservation Order Form: csfs.colostate.edu/woodland-park/wp-seedling-trees
Drought-Tolerant Trees for Colorado Landscapes: static.colostate.edu/client-files/csfs/pdfs/droughttrees.pdf