KC Gardens

When to water my spruce?


How often should I water my 25 foot Norway spruce and white pine during this dry winter? We lost a matching spruce this summer due to ongoing drought. Since then, we’ve been more diligent to water the remaining trees. I watered throughout fall every couple of weeks using several soaker hoses to get water down to about 12 inches depth. I last watered at the end of November. Should I water? - Diane -


  1. 1 year, 3 months ago

    Diane, I try to water my trees at least once a month during winter months. I just wait for a warm spell of 3 or 4 days with temperatures above normal, like 40’s or 50’s. I stick a screw driver in the ground next to the tree, if you can get the length of the screw driver in the soil the ground has probably thawed enough to soak up some water. I just make sure the air temperature is above 40 degrees and the ground has thawed on watering day. I use a 5 gallon bucket with a small hole drilled about 1 inch from the bottom of it so I don’t have to drag hoses out in January. You can use multiple buckets around the drip line of a larger tree. The small hole in the bucket will allow a slow trickle of water that will give the roots a good soaking. Your trees will appreciate a few good winter soakings, especially evergreens!

  2. 1 year, 3 months ago

    Good tips but I will add a little more. For a large tree the feeder roots that pick up the water are more at the edge of the tree or dripline. To water I recommend to turn the water on a slow trickle about pencil size and just lay the hose on the ground and let it run in multiple spots around the tree for 30 minutes to one hour in each location. This should be done about every 4 weeks in the heat of summer and maybe every 4 to 6 weeks in winter.
    Great tips on when to water based on air and soil temperatures

    Dennis - Johnson County Extension

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