Why should I water my trees in the winter?
After the extreme weather events in recent years, trees in North Texas are having a rough time.
- Currently, 86% of Texas is under drought conditions, while North Texas is suffering from “severe drought”
- Lack of water leads to a weakened immune systems in trees and higher susceptibility to disease and insects
- Repeated, long-term stress can lead to tree decline
- To avoid this, trees need extra attention and care NOW
- While DFW-area trees are normally dormant during this time of year, warm temperatures have caused some to start budding out early, before the recent freeze
- Producing new buds and leaves is a significant drain or a trees energy and water reserves
How should I water my trees?
- Trees have different water needs than other landscape plants and turf grass
Sprinkler systems are not sufficient for watering trees
- Using the “slow soak” method every 7-10 days is best
- A soaker hose around the entire root zone of the tree is recommended
- If using a garden hose:
- Place the hose 1-2 feet from the root flare
- Run water at a volume enough to spread, but not so much as to puddle or stream away
- Move hose throughout entire canopy area, ensuring complete coverage
- Remember to let the ground dry between waterings to avoid over-watering
- Non-native species, newly-planted trees, or stressed/sick trees may need watering more often
- For more watering info, visit our watering guide or this publication from the Texas A&M Forest Service
What else can I do to help my trees during drought?
- After watering, mulching is the most beneficial treatment for all trees
- Mulch helps regulate soil temperature and moisture, prevents competition in the root zone, and adds beneficial nutrients to the soil
- To learn how to properly apply mulch to your trees, visit our mulching guide
- Remove any dead or damaged branches before spring
- Dead wood is a magnet for insects and disease, and can become sites of rot and infestation
- Branches that are dead or dying present a hazard, as they are prone to falling during inclement weather
Oak Wilt Season is Almost Here!
Oak wilt is a devastating disease that affects all species of oak trees. Spread through root systems and pruning cuts, the insects and fungi that cause oak wilt infections are most active between February and July every year. As always, we recommend avoiding all oak trimming, except for removing dead or damaged branches, during oak wilt season. If oak trees need to be trimmed during this time, we follow recommended protocols such as painting the cuts, which adds a fee of 20% to trimming prices. For more info about oak wilt, visit our post on the topic.
REMEMBER: Anyone who says that oak wilt is not a serious concern is incorrect. There is no known proven cure for oak wilt, and oak wilt treatments are expensive and do not have a high success rate. Prevention is the best approach!