Springtime is upon us here in southeastern Colorado and with it I have noticed trees starting to bud. This is great to see but much of the area is in at least D1 drought conditions, or worse according to the monitor map. Knowing this we need to think about the care of our trees. Well maintained trees provide us with added beauty to and yard and give us shade on those hot summer days. These trees help with heating a cooling cost. Their shade can help keep a house cooler and block cold wind that robs heat. Research shows that large trees can increase property values from 3% to 15%, according to the Arbor Day Foundation.


As temperatures start to rise and the threat of freezing lowers, we need to start thinking about watering these helpful plants. When watering we need to be mindful of how we are watering. During watering we need to do it slowly so that it can soak into the soil to a depth of twelve inches. Sprinklers, deep-root fork or needle, soaker hose or soft spray wand are all good methods of delivery. Water in many locations under the dripline or canopy and beyond if possible. When watering you should apply ten gallons of water for each diameter inch of the tree. A two-inch diameter tree needs twenty gallons per watering. Use a ruler to measure your tree’s diameter six inches above ground level. To test if the soil is too dry, take a handful of dirt from around the plant and squeeze it in a fist. If it clods up, there is sufficient moisture. If it crumbles, the soil is too dry.  If you’re thinking of fertilizing it is recommended to do so before July. When fertilizing, use a complete fertilizer that has a ratio of three parts nitrogen, one part phosphorus and one part potassium and does not contain herbicides. Avoid applying fertilizer to newly planted trees they need to grow and adapt before fertilizing. Always follow the manufacturers guide when applying fertilizers. Information concerning tree and yard care can be found at Master Gardner Colorado State University Extension ( and Colorado State Forest Service Colorado State University (


Contact: Tearle Lessenden
CSU Extension Specialist Kiowa County /Southeast Area
4-H Youth Development, Ag/Natural Resources


For more information, contact your local Extension Office: Baca County 719-523-6971, Bent County 719-456-0764, Cheyenne County 719-767-5716, Crowley County 719-267-5243, Kiowa County 719-438-5321, Otero County 719-254-7608, Prowers County 719-336-7734 or find us on the web at:

Filed Under: AgricultureConsumer IssuesEnvironmentFeaturedMedia ReleaseWaterWeather


About the Author: