Tree watering is an essential part of tree care. But, when and how much should you water?Unfortunately, there is no magic recipe for tree watering. Factors such as soil type, weather and age all affect watering guidelines. But, here are a few good rules of thumb to follow.
1. Water new trees immediately
This one sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s important to mention.
2. Deep water trees in the first two growing seasons
Young trees use up a lot of energy trying to establish their roots in the soil. So, as you can imagine, trees have a hard time dealing with drought and heat in its first couple years. Deep watering, keeping the soil moist to the roots, can speed up root establishment.
3. Check soil moisture
Use a trowel to dig a few inches into the soil and touch it to see it’s moisture level. Generally, soil should be moist--not dry or drenched. If trees need watering, 30 seconds of a steady stream is adequate, or five gallons per inch of trunk diameter.
4. Don’t overwater
Yes. You can overwater trees. Symptoms include yellow leaves, black roots, fungus on the soil surface, brittle leaves, and wilting shoots.5. Use mulch.Mulch is essential to retaining moisture and soil temperature.
5. Use mulch
Mulch is essential to retaining moisture and soil temperature.
6. Know your tree
Different species have different watering requirements. Research your trees so you know best practices.
7. Water efficiently
Water late at night when evaporation rates are at their lowest. Don’t use spray head sprinklers since much of the water is lost to the wind. You could also create a basin around a tree by building a berm at the drip line to prevent runoff.
Keep up on watering
A good rule of thumb is to water trees about once a week during the growing season. Weather conditions will dictate if you need to water more or less.
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