The amount of water our trees get is always on our minds. Are they getting enough or are they getting too much? When it rains, that’s something that we can’t control. But many people wonder if watering their trees in the fall is necessary. This is because all the deciduous trees are preparing to go dormant for the winter and are losing their leaves. Plus, it is getting increasingly colder and people themselves don’t really want to be outside. Our team at Five Star Tree Services would like to answer the question whether you should be watering your trees in the fall. It’s a big resounding yes. However, timing is particularly important when watering in the fall. We are going to discuss this in more detail below.
Deciduous Tree Watering
It is true that during the fall, trees are preparing themselves for the long, cold winter and to go dormant. This involves their growth slowing down to a stop and the leaves change colours and eventually fall off. Trees collect water to store over the winter, but frequent watering confuses the tree, and it will keep trying to produce new growth instead of shutting down for the winter. As fall progresses and temperatures continue to drop, when frost begins to form, this can potentially harm this new growth.
We know this all sounds confusing but let us further explain. As a general rule, stop watering your trees in early fall. This will help to guide them into going dormant. When all their leaves have fallen off, you can start to water them again and it won’t affect or produce new growth, which can’t hurt the tree. If you have well established and mature trees, make sure you are watering along the dripline. This is the edge of where the tree’s canopy is, not up against the trunk. For young and newly planted trees, you can water at the root ball, close to the trunk. Make sure when you’re watering to make the soil moist and now soggy. You can water your trees until the ground is frozen.
Coniferous Tree Watering
You can tell a coniferous tree apart from a deciduous tree by how it doesn’t lose its greenery during the winter. These trees are particularly important to water before winter. This is because, unlike deciduous trees, they do not go dormant throughout the winter. They go into partial dormancy but not fully. This means they continuously have moisture throughout them and every time the temperature reaches above 0 degrees, they can lose this moisture in their needles.
Another question people tend to have is whether or not melting snow offers adequate moisture for the trees in the spring. The biggest issue with melting snow is that it’s actually above the frozen ground. You might notice on a mild day that the snow will melt but then create puddles. Your tree’s roots won’t be able to get to this water when the ground is still completely frozen.
One Last Drink
One of the last times you water your trees, you need to make sure you are deep water watering. This means you are saturating the soil around your tree for 1-2 feet deep. This is going to give the roots the water they need in the spring, when things start to thaw. This deep watering will also help to promote proper root growth in the spring and summer as well.
How Five Star Tree Services Can Help
For a quick review, stop watering in early fall and start again when the leaves are gone until the ground freezes. Give them one last snack for the long winter ahead. Our team at Five Star Tree Services is here to help you in any way you need! If you require tree care services in Toronto, make sure to give us a call at (416) 990-3355!