Hydrating Winter Trees and Shrubs

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Most trees and shrubs have gone dormant for the winter. Whether they are evergreen or deciduous, there is very little, if any, growth that happens during the colder months. That doesn’t mean they don’t still need water to stay hydrated and oxygen to do a little work. Evergreen plants especially need to continue to have a supply of water during the winter months to prevent the leaves from drying out.

The good news is that we usually receive enough rain during the winter months to keep the soil moist enough for the plants to stay hydrated. Another positive note is that because the plants aren’t growing, they don’t need nearly as much water to survive. However, if we go three or four weeks with no rain at all, it would be a good idea to irrigate to keep the plants from suffering.

With plants being dormant, now would be a good time to consider some winter pruning. Plants that need to be shaped up a bit to give them that more formal look can be pruned now. I would however, hold off on any major pruning, such as rejuvenating the hedge until February or March. The reason being that those unsightly sticks and twigs will receive new foliage much sooner, if they are pruned at that time of the year.