Is Watering The Trees In Winter A Bad Idea?

By Ann Sanders | Protecting Plants

watering trees in winter

During the summer, we all water the trees regularly using sprinklers and other irrigation systems. However, the amount of water we give our trees is reduced as we approach the colder seasons. So, is watering trees in winter absolutely bad? Here, we’ll learn the value of watering the trees even during cold weather.

​Understanding The Dormancy Stage

As the winter season arrives, the temperature starts to drop. Once this happens, your trees will prepare to be in a dormant stage. During their dormancy, the tree canopy can no longer receive any of the nutrients contained in the root system. Thus, the canopy cannot experience growth during this cold season.

watering trees in winter

​However, what happens in the dormancy stage is that the roots still undergo growth. Likewise, the root systems can still storage nutrients and food sent from the leaves after they go through photosynthesis. In other words, your trees are still experiencing growth – just not readily seen above the ground. In order for the roots to grow properly, they still need water.

​Watering The Trees

Trees and large shrubs need sufficient water for continued root growth in the winter. You should water them right around the trunk section and the drip line to get the most optimal results. Remember to give the trees a deep irrigation once the first frost arrives.

​Ideally, you should water the trees when the soil is still relatively dry during the day. Also, it’s better to irrigate the trees if the winds aren’t strong. A good amount of water can be wasted because of drying winds instead of being sent to the soil and root systems.

​Watering Fruit Trees

watering trees in winter

You have to pay special attention to fruit trees. Because they require consistent moisture during their first four years of being planted. All throughout the year, you must lightly irrigate the soil surrounding your fruit trees every two weeks.

​During the spring and summer seasons, you need to conduct deep watering without completely soaking the soil. Otherwise, the root systems won’t be able to get enough oxygen.

​In fall and winter, check the soil moisture. If the leaves of your fruit trees look dull, they might be going through water stress. Simply put, they lack water to continue their growth, especially around the roots. Get a shovel and dig up to ten inches of the soil and see if it moist enough. Otherwise, irrigate the soil adequately.

​In conclusion, your trees do need to be watered in winter. While their canopies might not grow during the dormancy stage, their roots still need enough nutrients and moisture to grow.

Read more: How To Protect Fruit Trees From Frost

​Watering The New And Young Trees

watering trees in winter

Like the fruit trees, young trees need special attention. If you’ve planted trees at least within the last three years, they are still considered new trees. During the summer, these new trees need an inch of rainfall every month. Just before the late stage of fall and the early stage of winter, they also have to be watered deep enough as the ground begins to freeze.

​Still, the winter season will always vary in places. If the winter in your area is pretty mild or dry, you should water your young trees once a month. This will ensure that the root systems still have a steady source of moisture in the colder months.

​Speaking of moisture, you must check moisture levels from time to time. This is done by digging about four to eight inches of soil. Touch the soil and assess if it is dry or just mildly damp. If this is the case, you need to irrigate the trees so the water reaches this depth.

​We hope that this article helped you in maintaining the health of your trees. If you have any queries, do give us a comment.

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About the Author

With the endless passion for organic living, I - Ann Sanders has come up with the idea of creating A Green Hand. Being the founder and editor of A Green Hand, my goal is to provide everyone with a wide range of tips about healthy lifestyle with multiform categories including gardening, health & beauty, food recipe,...