A Year-Round Guide for Caring for Your Trees in Calgary

Reading time: 7 minutes

The weather here in Calgary likes to keep us on our toes. And it’s not much easier for our leafy green friends. The chinooks and snowstorms certainly make tree care in Calgary a unique adventure.

But trees deserve this extra bit of attention and care. After all, they’re the lungs of our city. So, grab a cup of coffee, and let's get into some tips and tricks to keep your trees thriving all year round.

Tree Sun
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Why Calgary Trees Need Special Attention

Now, why do our trees in Calgary need that extra bit of attention? Well, the climate is like a box of chocolates—you never quite know what you'll get.

One day, you're basking in a balmy chinook, and the next, you're digging out from under a surprise snowfall. This weather whiplash is a challenge for the trees out there living through every wild swing, trying to keep up.

Trees are generally quite hardy and more than capable of withstanding the harsh elements. This is a real testament to their resilience. Yet even the toughest tree needs a helping hand.

The Awakening in Spring

Tree Flower
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The snow's melting, the days are getting longer, and your trees are waking up from their winter nap, ready to stretch their branches. It's a time for new beginnings and, of course, some tree care to start the season off right.

Here’s what your trees need.


Tree pruning removes the dead or diseased branches to help your tree focus its energy on the good stuff. Remember, if you’ve got an Elm, put those pruning tools away until after September 30th to prevent the spread of Dutch Elm Disease.


Kick off the hydration game as soon as the ground thaws. Your trees are thirsty after a long, dry winter, especially the young ones. A slow, deep watering helps them soak up all the moisture they need without overwhelming them.

  • For established trees, most species thrive with good watering (to the root depth) once or twice a month between April and September.
  • New trees (1–3 years) need to be watered every six days or so, increasing to every one to two days as long as the soil is drying out between waterings. Weekly watering is recommended, and continue checking for dry soil.
  • You can also use a soil moisture probe to check moisture levels before and after watering. Calgary's clay-based soils retain more moisture than they might appear, so composting soils can improve texture and health.
  • As soon as the frost is out of the ground in spring, apply a minimum of 2.5–5 cm of water under the tree's entire drip zone. This area is where rain would drip off and hit the ground, ensuring roots receive adequate moisture.


Think of mulch as a cozy blanket for your tree's roots. It keeps moisture in, helps control the temperature, and gives those pesky weeds a run for their money. Lay down a 3-inch layer, but keep it away from the trunk to avoid rot. Imagine making a doughnut shape around the base—tasty for the tree but not for eating!

Pests and Protection

With spring comes the critters, and not all of them are friendly. Keep an eye out for signs of pests or disease. Early detection means you can act before they become a full-blown tree saga. If things look suspicious, it might be time to call in your local arborist.

The Growth Spurt of Summer

Watering Tree

Summer in Calgary is prime time for the trees, soaking up the sun and growing like there's no tomorrow. With the warmth comes a burst of energy and growth but also a need for a little extra care to keep them thriving.

Watering Tips

It's a fine line between too much love and not enough. During the hotter months, your trees need a steady supply of water:

  • Aim for a deep, slow watering every couple of weeks in the evenings—enough to quench their thirst without turning the ground into a swamp.
  • Give established trees a monthly soak, about an hour on a drip line, or more if your tree shows signs of stress, like dropping leaves.
  • For newly planted trees, water deeply at least once a week for their first growing season. During a heat wave, double your regular watering routine. Water slowly to ensure moisture soaks deeply into the soil.
  • The best time to water trees is early morning or evening after the sun goes down. This minimizes water loss due to evaporation.


Think of fertilizer as the ultimate tree snack, packed with all the nutrients they need to support their summer growth spurt. A well-timed feed can make all the difference, but remember to find a balance.

Disease Watch

Watch out for any signs of disease or pest infestations. Discoloured leaves, unusual spots, or sudden leaf drops are warning signs. Catching these early can save a lot of headaches (and heartaches) down the road.

The Pre-Winter Pampering

Fall Tree
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When the leaves start turning those gorgeous hues of gold and red, it’s time for some pre-winter pampering. Fall in Calgary is a good time for a light trim, especially to remove any dead or damaged branches that might not make it through the winter.

Nutrient Boost

Think of fall fertilization like a hearty meal before a long nap. It’s your tree’s last big feed before it settles down for the winter. A well-timed nutrient boost can help strengthen the roots, giving your tree a solid foundation to weather the cold.


Those fallen leaves are a signal to get the rake out. Instead of bagging them up for the green bin, consider turning them into mulch or compost. It’s a great way to recycle nutrients back into your soil, and your trees and garden will thank you for it.


For younger trees, consider wrapping the trunk to protect it from the harsh elements and potential critter damage. For all trees, a good layer of mulch can help insulate the roots, keeping them cozy until spring.

Chilling in the Winter

Winter Chill
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Trees hit the pause button and settle in for a well-deserved rest in winter. This period of dormancy is crucial for their survival and future growth.

Break from Watering

It might seem counterintuitive, but winter is a no-water zone for trees. They're taking a break from growing, so their water needs drop significantly.

Snow and Ice Management

Heavy snowfalls and ice can be harsh on trees, especially the younger, more fragile ones. Gently brush off snow accumulation from branches to reduce the risk of breakage.


With the foliage gone, winter provides a perfect view of your tree’s structure, making it an ideal time for a structure check-up. This is where Green Drop’s certified arborists come into play.

They can spot potential problems that might not be visible when your tree is fully dressed in leaves. Issues like structural weaknesses or cracks can be addressed now, setting your tree up for a successful spring comeback.

Year-Round Tree Care Tips

Green Drop Mulching

Caring for your trees is an unending commitment that goes beyond the seasons. It's about ensuring they have everything they need to grow strong and healthy, no matter what Calgary's weather throws their way.

Here are some evergreen tree care tips for Calgary to keep them in tip-top shape all year round.

Mulch Ado About Something

Mulching isn't just a spring or fall activity; it's a year-round commitment to your tree's health. A proper mulch ring around your tree keeps the soil moist, controls temperature fluctuations, and fights off weeds that vie for resources. Remember, it’s all about the doughnut, not the volcano. Keep the mulch away from the trunk to avoid moisture buildup that can lead to rot.

The Right Place for a Tree Hug

Planting a tree in the right spot is crucial for its long-term health. Consider the tree's mature size, its proximity to buildings and power lines, and its sun and soil needs. It’s about giving your tree room to grow and excel for decades. If you’re having trouble, that’s where our tree planting services come in.

Hydration Station

Watering your trees correctly is key. Too little and they'll thirst. Too much and they'll drown. The trick is a deep, slow watering that reaches the roots, where it counts. Adjust your watering schedule with the seasons (as we’ve highlighted above), and you’ll be on track.

Watch and Learn

Regularly inspecting your trees for signs of stress, disease, or pest invasion can save you a lot of headaches later. Early detection is crucial for managing issues before they become major problems. And if you’re ever in doubt, calling in a professional is always a good idea.

Green Drop Sign Workers

Branch Out Your Tree with Green Drop

That’s a wrap on our year-round Calgary tree care guide. Remember, every bit of love you give your trees today helps them stand tall tomorrow.

Ready for expert help? Book our tree care services today and let our certified arborists provide your trees the care they need to stay green and flourish.

In addition to Calgary, we serve Edmonton, Red Deer, Regina, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg.

Schedule Your Free Tree Care Assessment