How to: water your trees!

 In Blog, Tree Care, 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.

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