With leaves pretty much gone from trees this time of the year in Pennsylvania, we know growing season is over and we may stop the gardening and watering. But, fallen leaves is not exactly the best gauge year-to-year for when it’s time to quit ourselves. If you take these few simple recommendations with watering, your plants and trees will be in a better, healthier spot next summer.

One article by Colorado State University Extension recommends continuing to water weekly, till temperatures hit 40 degrees regularly. Another article by Family Handyman in the Outdoor and Garden section says, “Sometimes a water-starved tree or shrub will appear to make it through the winter and leaf back out in the spring, only to die when the summer heat returns. In such a case, the death can be traced back to lack of water the fall prior.”

Watering plants is key in the fall, and below lists a few reasons why.

1. Root Growth

Though leaves and branches may be done growing this year, there is an abundance of growth that is still happening in plants and trees. This growth all happens in the roots till the ground is completely frozen. Roots are still actively digging deep, soaking up as much nutrients and support they can get from the ground. By watering your plants in temperatures above 40 degrees, you’ll continue to aid the important work roots are still doing.

2. Evergreens

Evergreens, such as rhododendrons and pines, still use a lot of energy through winter to keep their leaves and needles. The tough winter conditions make the coming season harsher for holding onto their leaves and needles. Extra water before the ground freezes is key to helping these plants last longer, and can prevent winter burn.

3. Vulnerability: Newly panted, age, and windy locations

Water your trees especially if they are newly planted, are young, or are planted in windy locations. If your trees fall into one of these categories, they are more vulnerable.

  • Newly planted trees have not had the same deep root growth as well-established trees.
  • Young trees have not built up the thick layers of protective bark to sustain extreme temperatures that older trees have.
  • Trees in extremely windy locations are more susceptible to harsh winter temperatures and snow build up. All three trees- newly planted, young, and in a windy location- will need extra water through the fall because they are vulnerable for specific reasons.


General Health Prevention

Though trees are hearty in general, the precaution of watering well through the fall is an important step for the longevity of your trees and shrubs. The growth that continues through fall as plants prepare for dormancy, is key and extra water will help in the dead of winter. If you have questions, be sure to call Cutting Edge Tree Professionals at 814-201-9757, or use our contact page, and get the answers you need from our certified, professional arborist team. We are here for you.



Other Sources:

When Should You Stop Watering Your Plants in the Fall?

Fall and Winter Watering – 7.211