Calgary has some special challenges to gardening, but the principles are the same for all areas. Among the principal reasons for tree loss and tree stress is the shortage of water. Many individuals are adamant they’re watering the trees and are worried they are drowning their trees.


The Problem with the 10 Minute Watering Technique. The concept that ten minutes of watering per day or the dependence on an automated irrigation system is adequate is somewhat misleading. If you would like to water your grass or your annual beds, the irrigation system is fine, because it’s typically installed to soak down into 3 to 4 inches below the surface. Trees, shrubs and perennials generally have root systems below this depth. (Perennial root programs can reach down to a foot, shrubs have root systems down to 2 to 3 ft deep and trees can be 5 feet deep)

Tenga en cuenta

Hay 3 problemas al hacer el remojo de 10 minutos:

      • Gran parte del agua se evaporará
      • You’re cooling the soil temperature, thereby reducing the capacity of the plant to make the most of the summer warmth to grow during our (too brief ) growing season
      • The very small roots of this plant then are after the humidity line around the surface thereby creating a shallow root system that’s exposed to the drying Chinook winds and changes in temperature.

Sistemas radiculares poco profundos

When you make this shallow root system you’re setting your trees, shrubs and perennials for disaster. They may come back a couple of decades, but following the chronic stress of temperature changes and the absence of water that they will eventually succumb and die.

El mejor ejemplo de esto son los abedules llorones más grandes que durante varias décadas, son hermosos y posiblemente de 20 a 30 pies de altura. Entonces (de repente) en 1 invierno, se desprende un tercio del árbol de la copa. La copa está muerta y el propietario está arruinado. El árbol hizo lo que tenía que hacer para sobrevivir y permitió que el tercio superior muriera. Otros árboles como los May Day y los Sauces y Cerezos Shubert enviarán brotes en la base o al patio. Los árboles están tratando de encontrar nuevas fuentes de agua para ayudar a la planta a sobrevivir.

Spruce trees are famous for drinking a lot a water, often robbing neighboring trees of this source. The spruce might seem alright but the neighboring tree will have fewer leaves, be fighting and sending out the shoots. Therefore it’s necessary to deep water them too. One of the key reasons it is tough to plant anything under a spruce is NOT due to the acidic soil. It’s because the roots beneath the tree have swallowed the water, and there is less light and less direct rain that could get to the region.

Síntomas de sequía en las hojas

You can tell if the tree does not have sufficient water by analyzing the leaves. If the leaves are dry around the edge of the foliage sometimes to the point of curling up and being emptied, the tree does not have sufficient water. If it’s a pine or spruce, the tips of the needles will begin to appear yellow and then brown.

Síntomas de ahogamiento en los árboles

If the tree has too much water, the middle of the foliage will be yellow. If it’s a spruce or pine the base of the needles will look yellowish.

¡Esos pulgones!

Another sign of lack of water and shallow root system issues is that the infestation of aphids. Imagine a stressed fish out in the sea. Sharks and other predators will find the stressed animal. Trees and shrubs are the same. The aphids come, they feed on the juices of the shrub and excrete that tacky”poop”. The ants love that carbonated waste and they have a wonderful dry environment at the bottom of the tree (as a result of tree build-up every drop it can – also to compensate for the aphid infestation). At some stage the wasps will join the celebration. All a person had to do was heavy water the roots of the tree and lots of these problems would never surface – or in the very east wouldn’t be so prevalent.

(Como nota al margen, las quejas sobre los gusanos de rocío son un síntoma de que no se ha cortado el césped lo suficiente. Cuando el césped se ha empapado profundamente, los gusanos de rocío hacen su trabajo más profundamente en el suelo, por lo que no dejan tantos abultamientos y bultos en la superficie)

What’s Deep Watering?

Think in relation to the size of the root ball of your shrub. This is the amount that the tree requires to get a excellent watering. If you deep water the tree once a week (twice a week when being established and based on the weather) you’re helping it develop a very nice and deep root system, less vulnerable to weather changes and drought conditions. When the tree is vulnerable to weather changes, it misreads the spring weather, prematurely opening leaves and blossoms, and vulnerable to spring snow storms that will freeze off those buds, and blossoms.

You can soak the roots by putting a hose at the bottom of the trees at various quadrants. Depending upon how big the tree, you might need to set the hose anywhere from 4 to 8 places around the tree and leave the hose to soak anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour at every position. If it’s a new tree, approximately 4 feet in diameter (edge to edge of the tree leaves or crown), a couple of times a week I normally do a 2 point watering using a soaker hose for 15 to 20 minutes in those two sides of the tree base. You don’t need the foundation to be sopping wet so that you do need to watch items in the first time you do this to gage things. Some folks find the profound root water/feeders a excellent solution. I believe they have merit though in some of Calgary’s clay soil it can be tough to put the feeders.

Prepararse y sobrevivir al invierno

In the Fall, (Sept. 15 to Oct. 31) deep water the roots of the perennials trees and shrubs to make a root ball of ice, thereby locking in the water to be used in the spring and retaining the plants dormant throughout the essential months of January, February and March. If your house is dry during those months the “ice cube” of roots could be lowered, again placing the plants in danger to Chinook and drying winds. I head out and bucket water the plants with cold water. In the event of pines, spruces, junipers, cedars and yew trees, throw another bucket of water on the foliage. I’ve discovered this to be useful in preventing or mitigating wind burn.

En resumen

Cada semana, uno o dos muy buenos remojos de estos árboles, arbustos y plantas perennes es más valioso y una mejor utilización del agua que tenemos. El césped y los parterres anuales normalmente se benefician de este enfoque en los árboles. Si abonas, hazlo una vez cada dos semanas y deja de abonar en la primera semana de agosto. Esto permitirá que las plantas entren en letargo para el invierno.


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