How to Properly Water Your Trees

If you recently planted a tree, and are wondering about its watering needs, we have some advice. Read on to find out when, how and where it’s best to water your trees.

Water is an essential resource for a tree’s survival, health and growth. It’s true that rainwater has the most benefits for a tree, but sometimes it isn’t enough. Symptoms of under-watering include dry soil and yellow or brown leaves that may drop off. Often, the leaves of a tree which isn’t getting enough water can become curled or wilted.

The good news is that learning to water efficiently and effectively isn’t difficult. Take a look at our advice, below.

Where to water

Watering the tree close to the trunk is a waste. Trees drink water through root hairs, very small roots found toward the end of the roots. This is why it’s better to water the tree near the drip line. This way, you will allow for the maximum absorption of water. Different species of trees vary in root structure, but by applying water and nutrients in the area just outside and inside the drip line you can be sure that the tree will benefit the most.

When to water

It’s best to water thoroughly and less frequently. Instead of lightly sprinkling the tree every other day, it is best to soak it deeply once or twice in the week. This is especially true if there has been no significant rainfall in a while. Usually, it’s good to apply 10 gallons of water for every inch of trunk diameter. Measure the trunk diameter at knee height. The general watering formula is: Tree Diameter x 5 minutes = Total Watering Time. Water should be available to the roots long enough in order to well hydrate the entire tree. Watering in the early morning will be most efficient. There is less wind and heat, which cause water to evaporate faster.

Remember – plants use 3-to-5 times more water during hot summers, so plan accordingly.

How to water

Sprinklers cover a large area, but can be extremely inefficient because of wind and evaporation. If your trees are in a lawn, it’s best to water them separately from the lawn itself. It’s better to use an automated drip irrigation system or a soaker hose for you tree watering needs.

Don’t over-water!

One mistake frequently made by tree owners is watering too often. Over-watering is as bad for the tree as under-watering is. For example, applying water daily can result in a shallow area of continually saturated soil. This drives oxygen out of the underlying soil, resulting in severe root decline. The symptoms of an over-watered tree can be similar to those of an under-watered one: young leaves become light green or yellow, leaves are green but brittle, algae and mushrooms start growing. You will also note that the soil is constantly damp.

If you apply our tips and learn how to properly water your trees, you won’t need the services of a tree removal company anytime soon. Remember to expand the watering area as the plants grow and try to use rainwater when possible. Happy gardening!