How to: water your trees!
If the hot weather is making you thirsty, chances are your trees need some water too.
Newly planted trees have often lost much of their root system during the transplanting process, leaving them highly vulnerable to dying from drought during their first few seasons in the ground. It is very important for us to water trees when they are young to help them become established in the landscape. Once they are established, they will have grown new roots out into the surrounding soil, enabling them to collect enough water on their own that supplemental watering is not necessary. However, even established trees can suffer during periods of prolonged heat and drought so always keep your trees in mind when watering the garden and give them a drink if you think they might need it.
Knowing how much to water a tree can be tricky, so follow these tips in order to keep your tree happy and healthy:
- Give a tree 10 gallons of water each week during the growing season for every 1 inch of trunk diameter at the time of planting. For example, if you plant a tree whose trunk is 2 inches in diameter at the time of planting, you would give it 20 gallons of water per week during the length of the growing season.
- Water your tree for one year for every one inch of trunk diameter at the time of planting. For example, if you plant a tree whose trunk is 2 inches in diameter, it will need to be watered for 2 growing seasons after planting.
- Water slowly to ensure the water percolates down through the soil to where the roots need it the most.
- Consider your tree’s location and environmental conditions when watering. For example, trees in windy locations will undergo more evapotranspiration from their leaves, causing them to need more water than trees in sheltered locations.
- Check the soil to determine your tree’s watering needs. By digging down a few inches, it is possible to see if the soil has moisture in it or is very dry.
Be sure to water your trees in hot weather, and help your neighbors to remember to do the same.