Watering Guide

Tree & Shrub Watering Tips

How to keep your plants alive in Colorado.

If watered thoroughly at the time of planting, nursery stock may not need additional water for several days. “Water need” will depend on many factors. Please read the list of frequently asked questions to help you with your watering needs. You can find a table that outlines watering needs based on tree size here. If we did not answer you question please do not hesitate to contact us.



How often should I water my tree?

Read more: Watering Guide

Irrigation Tips

Watering your new plants properly is the most important thing you can do.

Irrigation capabilities at the planting site should be considered before selecting trees for a planting site. Irrigation not only impacts species selection, but maximum recommended size of the nursery stock and the tree production method best suited for the site.

Determining water requirements and tree type for planting site:

With infrequent irrigation, most trees will grow poorly, die back or be killed from lack of water because they take much longer to establish. If trees will be irrigated regularly only until they are established, drought tolerant trees should be chosen, and nursery stock of any size can be planted. If trees receive irrigation during establishment and then regularly during the life of the tree, or if you are planting in the plant's native range and soil type, any tree regardless of drought tolerance can be planted.

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Irrigation Management


Irrigation management after planting

(see irrigation table below for a starting point on newly planted trees)

Irrigation is imperative to a trees overall health and survival. 

Regular irrigation after planting encourages rapid root growth that is essential for tree establishment. Irrigation helps maintain and encourage the desirable dominant leader in the tree canopy on large-maturing trees. Instead of a dominant leader, trees that are underirrigated during the establishment period often develop undesirable, low, codominant stems and double leaders that can split from the tree later.

Splits (so-called frost cracks or sunscald) along the lower trunk have also been associated with under-irrigation after planting. Since most root growth occurs in the summer months, irrigation during this time is crucial. You could loose almost an entire year's root growth if you under-irrigate the first summer.

Read more: Irrigation Management