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How are your trees doing?

Baby, its cold outside!

By Chris Leinster - February 28, 2019

Colorado is experiencing its coldest winter in many years, bringing blankets of snow to the mountains and freezing temperatures to the Front Range. I don’t want to dive into the numbers or spark another pointless global warming debate, but needless to say its cold outside and its predicted to be that way for the weeks to come. How are your trees holding up?

Quite well, actually. At least I hope so. Once the cold weather settled in this winter it has pretty much stayed consistently cold. We’ve seen some dalliances into the 50s here and there, and possibly some brief incursions into the low 60s. Those encounters have been fleeting, and not nearly warm enough or long enough to warm up the ground. While we haven’t had massive snow totals, the storms are coming in waves and snow is piling up on the shady side of the house.

This bodes well for your trees and all of your landscape plants as they slumber through the winter. Cold doesn’t matter so much as long as it doesn’t warm up between cold snaps. Drastic swings in temperature can be detrimental to trees as tissue in the cambium (live cells underneath the bark) freezes and thaws. The best-case scenario is for it to get cold and to stay cold, which is what we’ve experienced so far.

Waves of storms have brought coveted moisture to Colorado as well. There hasn’t been much need to winter water so far, as the weather has produced sufficient precipitation to most of the Front Range. More importantly, the snowpack in all of Colorado’s watershed basins is running over 100% of the median snow water equivalent (source, meaning most municipalities shouldn’t require water restrictions this summer!

Be aware that despite all the snow, moisture may not be penetrating down to the deep roots of your trees. While snow melts in sunny spots, the water may run off and not seep into the frozen ground below. Conversely, in shady areas our dry air may wick the moisture right out of the snow before it gets a chance to melt into the ground! Your trees should be fine though, as we had sufficient rain before the cold settled in and the slumbering roots are awaiting warmer soil to break dormancy. As we head into spring, keep an eye on precipitation as roots begin to grow long before you notice any leaves break bud.

While its still too cold to plant trees and digging into frozen ground is no fun at all, its not too early to plan your spring planting. Give Happy Trees a call and we can help you find the perfect tree for your needs and figure out pricing. Trees are currently being harvested and are arriving weekly. Soon the Crocus and Daffodil will be poking up out of the ground and tree planting time will spring upon us.

Disclaimer: Colorado has vexing micro climates. Your neighborhood may be in drought conditions. Monitor your trees and water as necessary.