Update to article posted September 2017: As expected but not hoped for, the sufficient rains have not happened. Therefore, if you did any planting this past couple of months, it is imperative that you water NOW during this drought. The lack of rain and the gusty winds are the worst combination of weather events for newly planted trees, shrubs and especially evergreens. So any time possible, when temperatures are above 40 degrees during the winter, our advice is to irrigate. Our guarantee states explicitly, that we do not cover plants that have died due to "Acts of God" weather events such as drought, flood, tornado etc.. This winter is shaping up to be dry, similar to last year, and come spring, dessicated plants are easy for us to spot. Keep your plants healthy this winter and water.
So far, the fall of 2017 is following in line with the two previous autumns in the rain department. We keep a daily log of weather here at Rolling Ridge and looking back, we find only one measurable rain event during the month of September and have to go all the way back to August 22nd, the day after the eclipse to find a decent soaking rain. We remember that it was a good thing that particular storm didn't happen the day before. Like last fall, continuing dryness can have a lasting impact especially on newly planted trees and shrubs. Many new plantings were installed last fall and were generally well cared for at the outset. However, many people put away their hoses and shut down their watering systems come November and stopped watering despite the fact that it remained dry into February. The problem is, new plantings haven't established well enough yet to endure that long of a stretch without water. Many came out of winter either dead or badly damaged. Even though the calendar said December or January, we were still mild enough and without any precipitation, new plants dried up just as if it were July or August. So if this fall continues with this trend and you've planted new trees and/or shrubs, especially evergreens, you should be prepared to keep up with your watering throughout the winter if the temperatures generally stay moderate and precipitation, in the form of rain or snow continues to be lacking.