[NAFEX] Watering young trees in winter

Douglas Woodard dwoodard at becon.org
Thu Nov 19 19:41:08 EST 2009

Caren, if the trees have shed their leaves or even if the leaves are 
well coloured, I expect that the trees are far enough into dormancy so 
that watering will not encourage  a growth spurt or delayed dormancy. 
Here in the Niagara Peninsula the trees have shed their leaves.

I recall advice from the prairies, that if the fall was dry one should 
wait to water until the trees went dormant (but preferably give them 
enough water in the summer). But it was considered important to get the 
trees hydrated before the ground froze.

 From graphs I have seen, cold tolerance is usually not at its maximum 
until the first or second week in January.

Doug Woodard
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Caren Kirk wrote:
> As I lost my young peach and my apple tree this spring I am becoming 
> increasingly paranoid. I do believe that the freakishly dry April we had 
> may have had something to do with their demise.
> Now I have a young plum and pear as well as 2 more apples. November is 
> turning out to be freakishly beautiful and dry here, with a very late 
> Indian summer.  Usually their would be no complaints from me as 
> otherwise it's quite a miserable month.  However I am starting to be 
> seriously concerned about the lack of moisture for the young trees.
> I know at this point they should be going into dormancy and thus less 
> water is a good thing. But last week we had temperatures around 10 deg C 
> (50F) and it's only rained once in the last 2-3 weeks. Now it's starting 
> to get a bit colder (-5C/ 23F this morning) but still the sun is out and 
> it will probably start climbing back up to mid 40sF.
> Should I be out there watering my trees or would that be potentially 
> damaging?
> Any advice appreciated as I really want to give them the best possible 
> chance of surviving.
> Caren
> St. Jerome, QC
> Ag Can Z4b

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