DENVER (CBS4) – In some places it’s impossible to jab the steel probe into the rock-hard ground.

“The water is just puddling on top of the soil because it’s been dry for so long,” John Martinez with Mountain High Tree Service said.

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He was deep root watering trees for customers in Aurora’s Saddle Rock neighborhood on Tuesday with his co-worker, Brenda Seymour.

“I’ve never seen it so dry to be honest with you,” Seymour said.

Together they’re doing what experts recommend to keep trees strong and healthy in a prolonged winter dry spell.

“This winter is certainly dry with only an inch of precipitation since October in Denver,” Colorado State University horticulturalist Carl Wilson said.

Martinez showed how he delivers water and a soil additive (in two gallon bursts) starting at the drip line while maintaining concentric rings around medium height pine trees.

“The trees really suffer because they lose moisture during the wintertime,” he explained.

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Those without leaves (deciduous) get a good drink too.

Tree services are certainly convenient for preserving valuable trees. But for those who want to save money (and have the time), it’s an easy job for do-it-yourselfers.

“You can throw a hose out to save it, I do it in my own yard,” Seymour said.

Denver Water says a good rule of thumb is to provide 10 gallons of water for each inch of a tree’s diameter.

Other tips from Denver Water are as follows:

— Water up to twice per month during dry periods.
— Water only when temperatures are above 40 degrees.
— Don’t water with snow on the ground.

Landscape trees are a treasured asset in a shade deprived area like metro Denver. Keeping them healthy starts with the basics.

“Everything needs water,” Seymour said.

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– Written by Paul Day