Your landscaping is the first thing people notice about your property. When it’s properly maintained and your trees look their best, people can’t help but be impressed. However, like your grass and flowers, your trees need regular watering in order to produce the shade and new growth you want to see. If you’re like most homeowners, understanding how to properly care for and water your trees can seem like a bit of a mystery. Here are a few tips from your trusted Denver tree service to ensure that your trees get the care and attention they need to thrive.
Consider the Age of Your Trees
Older trees are more established in your yard and are often more tolerant to changing soil or weather conditions. This means they’ll need less water than newly planted trees
in order to produce the same amount of growth each year. With newly planted trees, you’ll want to water around the roots frequently to keep the soil moist and help the roots spread throughout the yard. The more the roots can grow, the more nutrients the tree will receive. Keep in mind that you’ll need to avoid overwatering the trees as too much moisture can lead to root rot and mold growth, destroying what should otherwise be a healthy plant.
Keep an Eye on the Weather
Late winter and early spring can be volatile along the Front Range. Snows can turn to rain as early as February or continue well into May. This means keeping an eye on the weather patterns is especially important when you’re looking to keep your trees healthy. Pay attention to the weather forecast and watch for upcoming storms or dry spells and plan your watering routine accordingly. During frequent storms or extremely cold conditions, consider turning off your irrigation system. Remember, melting snow will do a great job of keeping the roots hydrated and leaving the system on can do long-term damage to the system’s plumbing. Should Denver go without moisture for a few weeks, bust out that watering can or turn the sprinklers back on a few times each week.
Make Use of Mulch
Mulch does more than make a garden look nice—it protects the roots and soil from damage due to erosion or improper drainage. Even if your trees are well established, using mulch around the roots can only help them grow. Over time, the wood used in the mulch breaks down, depositing nutrients in the soil without the use of chemical-based fertilizers. This helps rejuvenate the soil around established trees, making it easy for them to continue to grow well throughout the year. The more available nutrients trees have access to, the stronger their roots will become and the more resistant they’ll be to common hazards like pests, diseases, and drought.
Incorporate Fertilizer Into Your Watering Efforts
Though water helps trees grow and thrive and mulch helps improve the condition of the soil, it may not always be enough. In some cases, mixing a small amount of fertilizer with water is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Not only are you providing the tree with the hydration it needs, but you’re also giving your tree additional nutrients. In appropriate amounts, fertilizer can strengthen the tree. Keep in mind that fertilizing is not a substitute to regular watering. In fact, it should only be done occasionally and is best handled by a professional landscaper who can assess the overall condition of the tree.
Trees Need Their Own Irrigation System
While your sprinklers may be enough to keep your lawn hydrated even during drought-like conditions, they may not be enough for your trees. Traditional sprinkler systems
can lose up to 50 percent of the water they put out to evaporation. While this is effective for grass and other plants with shallow roots, it’s not ideal for trees and large bushes with deep roots. Relying on sprinklers alone will not only increase your water bill, but it will also keep your trees from getting the water they need to grow properly. Over time, this can result in stunted growth, disease, or even death of the plant. Instead, you’ll want to supplement your sprinkler system by either hand-watering the trees or installing an underground drip irrigation system which can maintain moisture in the soil without losing water to evaporation. Best of all, drip irrigation systems are low maintenance and reduce your landscaping’s water consumption by depositing water exactly where it’s needed.
Get Rid of Dead Growth
Regular tree trimming is good for your landscaping, but it can also bolster your watering efforts. Well-hydrated roots transfer nutrients from the soil to the rest of the tree. When the canopy is filled with dead or damaged limbs, the nutrients get spread thin throughout the tree, depositing in the damaged areas and depriving healthy parts of the tree. By scheduling a tree trimming appointment in early spring, your tree will be able to send those nutrients where they need to go more easily.
Don’t Be Afraid of Making a Hard Choice
Droughts are never entirely predictable and what may start out as a minor drought can quickly turn to a major dry spell that results in water restrictions across the county. If the situation gets bad enough that you’re forced to choose between your grass and your trees, always choose your trees. Remember, sod can be replaced easily, but an established tree takes time to grow and develop. It’s far better to preserve your property’s shade trees and reserve your irrigation water for them than it is to maintain a lush green lawn.
Watering your trees should always be a priority, but it doesn’t have to be confusing. At Arbor Garden, our experienced tree trimming and maintenance team wants to help you keep your trees healthy and happy, no matter the season. We’ll assess the health of your trees before starting any work and can make recommendations on proper plant care throughout the year to help you keep your property looking its best. Don’t wait until the growing season begins in earnest. Contact us today to schedule a maintenance appointment before the weather warms up.