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Trees Need Watering... in April

Trees Need Watering... in April

Trees are one of the most valuable and appealing features of any landscape. A little tree maintenance knowledge can go a long way in keeping a tree in peak health.

Trees and shrubs in commercial landscapes, especially those in parking lots, need water at the beginning of the growth season for them to do their best.

Sanding parking lots in the winter creates airborne dust in the spring, causing needles and leaves to be coated in film, which can hinder a plant’s ability to photosynthesize. Sanding and salt trucks can also scatter salt and chemicals that make their way into tree and flower beds, contaminating the soil. Watering your trees in April can help clean the plants and dilute chemicals from the surrounding soil.

April can be a particularly dry month, creating a micro drought which can stunt a tree’s development. Don’t wait until May 15 (when irrigation systems are typically started up) before getting your trees, shrubs and plants the water that they need.

In April, you’ll notice our watering trucks out and about, giving plants a jump start and helping them thrive. But, (hint, hint) this simple annual maintenance is something that anyone can do.


When should I water?

Begin watering trees, shrubs, and plants when the frost starts to recede. Be on the lookout for when daytime temperatures above freezing start to double the nighttime temperature below freezing (e.g. 4°C during the day and -2°C during the night). This is a sign that frost is on its way out, and that the watering can begin.

Stress-free winters?  Are you kidding? 

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How much should I water?

Water trees once a week until your irrigation schedule starts. The average garden hose delivers 8 gallons of water per minute. At the beginning of the season, mature trees will need about 5 minutes of watering (40 gallons), new trees will need about 3 minutes (24 gallons), and shrubs will need a couple of minutes (16 gallons). If in doubt, check with our certified arborist.

 

Where should I water?

The root bed of most trees extends two to three times wider than the width of the tree’s canopy (the branches and leaves that make up the tree).  The ideal watering zone covers from just before the drip line (the outer edge of the leaves) to where the roots typically end.  See the diagram below.
Ideal tree watering zone

 

Doesn’t snow count?

In Calgary, snow is not uncommon in April. This blanket of fresh powder can trick you into thinking that your trees, shrubs, and plants are getting water. But an inch of snow is the same as getting a few millimeters of rain—not even enough to count as a single watering.

 

Bang for your buck

By incorporating April watering into your annual maintenance schedule, you are taking care of one of the simple activities that can yield a big payoff. Healthy plants better resist disease and pests, grow stronger and last longer. All of these are better on the pocketbook than leaving trees, shrubs, and plants to fend for themselves.

Talk to us today about incorporating April watering into your maintenance schedule.

 

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