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Winter Tree Watering Tips: The Complete Guide

Winter is a beautiful time of year, but it can also be difficult for your trees. When the cold temperatures hit, and your trees enter dormancy, many people think it’s time to stop watering. However, it is very important to keep watering during winter to keep your trees hydrated and healthy through the winter months. In this blog post, you will find some expert tree care tips on how to deep water your trees during these cold winter months!

Why Should I Water Trees in Winter?

While trees are dormant, they may not be growing new branches or leaves, but they’re still doing important work under the soil. If you do not water your trees during winter, this can damage your root systems and kill your trees.

While the winter weather may cause your tree to get cold, your soil is the most significant barrier between your tree’s roots and the harsh winter wind. Water works as an insulator for both your tree and the soil. Moist soil is warmer than dry soil, making your tree less susceptible to damage from winter.

Winter is an important time for your trees, so it is necessary to water regularly during the fall and winter.

When Should I Water My Trees?

Trees do not need to be watered as often as spring and summer during the winter season. When there is little or no snow and precipitation, plan on watering your trees one to two times per month.

The roots of a tree are very sensitive and can be damaged from the cold, wet soil or ice beneath them. Make sure to watch the temperature outside, you do not want to water your trees in temperatures under 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and there is no snow or ice near the tree. If the temperature is below freezing, not only will these cause issues with your sprinkler system, but they can cause damage to your tree’s roots.

What Should I Check Before Watering?

If you have an irrigation system for watering your trees, make sure it is winterized before temperatures drop below freezing. This will protect both your tree and sprinkler system from any damage.  

If you do not have an irrigation system, it is still possible to water your trees in winter. You can use a garden hose with a spray nozzle to deep water your trees. When watering trees in winter, make sure to water the entire root zone and not just the soil’s surface. This will help ensure that your tree gets the water it needs to stay healthy during winter.

How Do I Water In the Winter?

When watering trees in winter, you should water for a longer period of time at a lower rate. This will allow the water to soak into the soil and reach the tree’s roots. Watering for a shorter time at a higher rate can cause runoff and not provide your tree with the water it needs. Trees love their water to be slow and deep! If your tree is newly planted, it may need more water than just a couple of times a month.

It is also essential to ensure that the ground is not frozen when trying to water your trees. If the ground is frozen, you can use a garden tiller or shovel to break up the ice and water as usual.

How Can I Tell If My Tree Needs Water?

You can check the soil moisture of the area by your tree. Preventing soil moisture using your finger or a moisture meter is a great way to tell if your soil is too dry.

Using your finger, use a garden tool to create a 2 inch deep small hole in the soil. Use your finger to stick down into the ground. If the soil sticks to your finger and feels wet, it’s okay to wait to water your tree. If the soil feels dry and does not stick to your finger, it’s time for deep watering.

If you’re unsure of when to water your tree, or if you need support with your winter tree care, reach out to an ISA-Certified Arborist, like the experts at TreeNewal.

How Do I Deep Water My Tree?

Deep watering is a great way to water your tree during winter. When deep watering, you provide the tree with water to reach its roots. This is important for trees in winter because their roots are not receiving as much moisture from snow and rain.

To deep water, your tree, use a garden hose with a spray nozzle. You can use a hose guide to position the spray nozzle at tree height. Ensure that you are not hitting any tree bark or branches, which can damage your tree’s tissue and kill its limbs.

Using an oscillating sprinkler is another great option for deep watering trees during winter. This option will make it easier to water multiple trees or larger areas.

Installing a soaker hose deep in the soil is a great option as well. If your tree is not very large, or you have not planted it yet, consider installing a soaker hose to help make sure the water is getting to the roots.

Where Can I Find More Information?

For more information on winter tree watering tips and winter tree care, check out our blogs! TreeNewal writes blogs twice a week to help tree lovers everywhere.

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To learn more about Winter Tree Watering Tips: The Complete Guide, call our Argyle and Southlake-based teams

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