Focus water on trees and shrubs not whole lawn when dry, experts say

Posted at 5:44 PM, Mar 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-17 21:10:24-04

DENVER — Landscape experts say myths suggesting watering trees or grass during winter months will cause them to bud or come out of hibernation too early, are untrue.

“It’s time to get water on them. It’s been dry and when it’s dry like this, trees require a good amount of water,” Len Brussock, who has owned Arborist Arms Tree Company for about three decades, told Denver7. “Watering them is absolutely beneficial.”

He suggests using a frog-eye sprinkler because it spreads the water around the tree. The goal is to water the areas where the tree’s roots grow, not just at the trunk.

“Ten to 15 minutes in an area will do if the tree’s trunk is 10 to 12 inches in diameter,” he said.

Water twice a month for young trees and shrubs and at least once a month for mature ones. 

“Get an inch or two of water down in the area to let it percolate,” he said.

Without enough water, trees can suffer damage.

“The roots dry out and trees get stressed. Insects attack,” Brussock said.

Denver Water spokesman Travis Thompson agrees that focusing on trees and shrubs is more important than your lawn.

“Grass is very hardy here,” he said. He suggests hand watering spots in your lawn if they appear dryer than other parts.

“This time a year you might get a little panicked and you may turn on those sprinkler systems because it has been so dry, but the next few months are typically our snowiest months,” he said.

When it comes to how much snow has fallen in the mountains -- where Denver gets its water from -- Thompson said levels are good.

“We’re actually in a good spot despite how warm it’s been in the Front Range. Our water sheds where we collect our water for the City of Denver have been in really good shape. Our reservoir levels are about where they usually are and snowpack levels are still above average for this time of year,” he said.

At this time, with data currently available, he does not expect Denver to impose water restrictions this summer.


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