Your trees could use a drink
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 the Denver metro area, 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 temps on 80% of days were above normal and overall precipitation was 78% below normal.
Why trees need water
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 be the strike-out that kills a tree. For example, drought stress + insects/disease problems + winter storm damage adds up to three strikes that can take out a tree.
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.
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.