Monday, December 1, 2014

Winter Watering Requirements for Fruit Trees

Your dormant fruit trees probably look dead standing in the snow void of fruit and leaf. Even though it looks dead, your trees are very much alive and healthy. They are still living, breathing organisms in the winter and they continue to transport water and nutrients to stay alive. Think of dormancy as a period of sleep. You and I are very much alive when we sleep. Our bodies continue functioning just like they do when we are awake.With that being said, make sure your fruit trees have enough water to survive the long winter months. This blog post will discuss several tips that you can do to make sure your trees have the moisture they will need to thrive this winter.

Winter Watering Requirements
The first thing that you should do is make sure your tree is hydrated by continuing a good watering routine in the fall. Next, it is important to make sure that the soil around your tree has reached field capacity as close to the first freeze date in your area as possible. This will ensure that your tree has a good reserve of water in the soil that it can draw from throughout the winter.

In Utah, most years have plenty of snow and the early winter months have periods of freezing and thawing that help to saturate the soil before the ground freezes. We live in a desert and there are some years where snow is scarce. In these drought years and in many arid climates throughout the US, supplemental watering is necessary to improve your fruit tree's health and to ensure that your trees preform at optimal levels in the spring.Your fall harvest could be affected by your tree's ability to intake enough water in the winter. Dry winters will often cause a poor harvest the following summer and fall.

To do a supplemental watering in the winter, watch the forecast for a day with several hours of temperatures above freezing and do a slow, deep, watering with the hose for that time period. If it needs to be broken up into multiple days, then do so. Make sure you are focusing your watering efforts at the drip line of the tree rather than just around the trunk. For more information about the drip line follow this link:


Drip Line of a Trees
Even though your fruit trees look dead, proper care in the winter months will ensure a good harvest the following year. Please let me know if you have any question regarding the information in this post by sending me an email at russ@simplytreesut.com or commenting below.