RENO, Nev. (KOLO) These unseasonably warm temperatures have some homeowners feeling great but guilty at the same time.
“Been beautiful out. Not like last year with all of the snow. But it makes me really worry about the trees and the water they really need to have, but we aren't giving them,” says Reno resident Breanne Craig.
Local arborist Dale Carlon shows us just how dry the ground is as he places a probe deep into the soil.
“Do you remember how grandma used to check the cake with the toothpick? We do the same thing when it comes to soil moisture. It comes out powder-dry like this, obviously too dry,” says Carlon.
Carlon says you can expect the ground around your trees to look the same. He goes to the outside irrigation system and turns it on. He puts his hands on two blue valves.
“Turn those so they are in line with the pipe. We are going to open the supply valve here. Now what you have to do before you turn the water on, is you have to come in here, and shut this drain valve; otherwise the water will flow into this box,” says Carlon.
He adds if you want to use the outside irrigation, use the drip only. And you will have to drain the system when the temperatures dip below freezing.
You may just want to put a hose on the outside spigot and water. You can hook that up to a root feeder before watering or using a soaker hose.
Carlon uses a root feeder to create holes in the ground, and puts fertilizer into those holes to provide nutrients to the soil. This will help your tree roots. It will help the water get to those roots once the soaker hose is used and the water will refrain from running into the sidewalk or gutter.
Place the soaker hose on the ground around the outside edge of the tree where the branches end.
“It is known as the drip line of the tree. And it is slightly in from the outside edge. Set at a very low drip, and just let it drip all day long,” says Carlon.
Carlon says Birch trees are most at risk from these early warm temperatures and would get the most out of watering now.
If and when the temperatures go below freezing in the weeks to come, Carlon says the water will actually help protect those roots until the real spring thaw comes to town.
TMWA customers can receive a free consultation from Carlon about their drip system, the right tree for the site, or even proper irrigation. Just email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.