tree mulch

In recent months, the drought in Colorado has started to take hold. In fact, it has been well over 200 days since the last snowfall in the area resulting in severe drought.

Therefore, if you recently planted trees this summer or this fall, you will need to water and mulch the newly planted trees. Trees in the fall continue to have root growth and without the right amount of water, the tree will suffer which later can lead to early leaf drop, insects and disease.

As long as the ground isn’t frozen and the air temperature is relatively warm (above 40 degrees), now is a great time to water. To check to see if your tree needs water, use a small shovel to dig a 2-inch hole and feel the soil around the dripline.  If it is moist to the touch, then your tree doesn’t need water. It is best to create moist soil for your trees. If roots are too wet, this can lead to root rot and disease. Soil that is moist is easier to water because water molecules like to stick to other water molecules, which will in effect water the soil more efficiently.

Remember to water slowly. If you water too quickly, when the soil is dry much of the water will runoff along with the topsoil to a lower grade area and the water will not infiltrate to the tree’s roots properly. It is best to water deep and less often than it is to water a little every day. Watering should be done slowly over a thirty-minute period to allow for ample amount of water to infiltrate into the ground. The amount of water needed depends on specific location, species of tree, sun exposure, amount of mulch in place and a variety of other factors.

Mulching is another way for the trees to retain more moisture, this increases water retention, circulation of air and inhibits compaction. Mulch should be two to three inches of mulch minimum and be sure not to pile mulch up against the trunk, this can lead to root/trunk rot.

For more tree care tips, click here or contact Sam Waggener, Code Enforcement Coordinator & City Forester, at [email protected].