Yes, we live in a desert, and yes we know that desert living does not include a lot of rain, but this year has definitely been drier than most! In our household, we can only remember one good storm over the summer, and many of our neighbors in other parts of the valley are wishing they could claim that! And although we really do not want to say the drought word, it is quite possible that is the direction in which we are heading, which might make you start wondering: Will your Arizona trees survive a long, dry winter after a long, super-hot, and dry summer? The loss of any greenery in the desert is a painful experience, so we at New Image Landscape and Pools have created this guide to keeping your trees alive through a dry winter!
We’ve Said It Before
The best way to ensure your trees survive any dry period, no matter what the season, is to begin by choosing drought-tolerant trees! Why plant something that needs constant watering and waste our most precious resource if you don’t have to? On the other hand, planting a tree close to the home can reduce air conditioning costs by about 25%, which is why drought-tolerant trees can be your resource saving solution. Some popular trees that do exceptionally well in the desert include the Chilean mesquite, any version of the palo verde tree, the Afghan pine, and the beautiful desert willow! Most of these trees flower, creating a breathtaking punctuation mark to your desert landscape, and because they are drought-tolerant, you only need to water these once every four weeks during the winter months!
The Trees Were There When You Bought Your Home
We do not all have the opportunity to start our landscaping from scratch, and if you have recently purchased an already established yard with trees that are both drought-tolerant and require frequent watering, do not be afraid. We can help you keep them alive through the mild and dry Arizona winter! Even more tropical trees do not need to be watered more than once every two weeks, so don’t beat yourself up about it! The oxygen your trees provide do benefit our environment, and as stated earlier, they can lower your utility bills during the scorching days of summer. Just be sure not to water when the ground is frozen. We do get the occasional frosty days, even in the desert, but unlike your eastern hometown, all you need to do is wait them out a few days and the soil will once again be soft and easy to water. Once the temperatures have soared above 40 degrees, watering will be a go!
Did It Rain Recently?
If we happen to have a good storm, you will not need to water, but even if it was a light sprinkling, you might want to delay watering for a few more days. The cooler weather makes the ground stay wetter longer, and if you water while still damp, it can cause root rot, causing injury or even death to the tree you are trying to help thrive! It also saves that precious resource, giving you a win-win situation.
How to Water Your Arizona Trees
Believe it or not, you just can’t turn your sprinkler system towards the tree and walk away; there are correct ways to water, and of course, we have the inside scoop! Watering at the base of the trunk actually does not do what is necessary, as the root system of most trees extend out past the canopy. Setting a drip line around the circumference of the tree at this spot ensures the water will go where it is needed—straight to the roots! Watering slowly and deeply also ensures the roots will grow strong and deep and give homeowners less chances to worry about losing the tree in strong winds. There is no sadder sight in the desert than driving through neighborhoods filled with uprooted trees after a big desert windstorm. The loss of a mature tree is expensive and bad for the environment!
Even though we are experiencing extreme dryness this year, chances are your trees will do just fine. Just remember that less is more (in most cases) and if it helps, make notes on your calendar every time you water your trees so you have a written accounting of your schedule! And sometimes the most accurate gauge as to whether or not your tree has had too much or too little watering can be your own eyesight. Are the leaves on a non-deciduous tree starting to wither and fall off? Step up your watering schedule. Are the leaves turning yellow and curling? Chances are you have watered too much and need to take a longer break between sessions! If you are still worried, give us a call today and let us come out and take a look! We hope to hear from you soon.