watering evergreens this winter as it’s been so dry


watering evergreens as its been so dry this winter how to


Generally, if they have been well-watered throughout autumn until freezeup, the evergreens should have enough stored water to survive.  However, they lose water via their needles when the winter air is dry, and/or when there are cold, dry winds.

It’s late February now, and where there is scant or no snow cover and very little rain, consider watering the trees once or twice a month, until early spring.  First check whether the soil is moist by inserting a trowel up to around 5 cm (2 inches) deep; you will be able to feel if the soil is moist – if it is, there is no need to water.  If the soil is powdery or dry at this depth – your trees will be thirsty.

On warm winter days when the air temperature is over 4 degrees C (40 degrees F) and there is no snow or ice on the ground near the trees, go ahead and water.  It is best to do so early in the day so that the trees can absorb the water before temperatures decrease at night.

When watering, do so to the edge of the root spread of the tree (approximately equal to the tree height).  Trees like to be watered deeply and slowly over 15-30 minutes – you can use a soaker hose.  Don’t spray water on the leaves.  You can also mulch around the root zones of the trees (but not against the trunks) – this helps the soil retain moisture.

See Planting a Tree for Life: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide  for general information on how to care for trees, including mulching.

All the best in quenching your evergreens’ thirst!