Tree Care Tip: Proper Watering is Important All Year and Especially in Summer
September 11, 2018
As part of good tree care, proper watering is important, especially during the summer months when less rain falls and other seasonal growing plants are competing for the available water. Stein Tree Service offers some watering tips for optimal tree health.
Proper Watering Tips for Ideal Tree Care and Health
Watering best practices vary with the season and with the tree’s growth phase. A newly planted tree needs to be handled differently than an established tree. The only parts of the tree that need water, however, are the roots. The tree has a system for bringing water up from the roots to the rest of the tree and leaves can get scalded by the sun with watering in the wrong part of the day.
Looking at the surface soil is an inadequate way of determining if a tree needs watering. Check for moistness by feeling the soil about two inches under the surface. You can use a spade or your hand to push topsoil away for this purpose. If the soil feels dry, you need to water.
Watering should be done thoroughly once a week (or more in summer) rather than in small amounts frequently. A good guideline is about 5 minutes of hose watering at medium water pressure. Too much water is as bad for tree health as too little, so avoid over-watering.
Watering Newly planted trees
If you have newly planted trees in your landscape, be aware that they need special nurturing. For the first few months, you only need to be sure the area where the root ball is located is kept moist. Once the roots begin to spread out, you will want to spread out the watering circumference. The area within the tree’s dripline (the area from the tree trunk to the ends of its branches) should be sufficient.
For new trees that are still being established, check the soil condition often. Regular watering should be done for at least the first two growing seasons, including fall, as this time helps prepare trees to survive the winter. Mulch can help hold in the moisture, aiding in healthy tree growth.
Watering Established trees
Trees that have weathered at least two growing seasons should be established enough that you can somewhat relax your vigilance. The tree will become accustomed to the area’s normal precipitation levels and adjust accordingly. However, when an area is having a drought period, or even a shorter period where rainfall is less than normal, you may need to water trees to maintain health. Be proactive and water before the tree begins to show signs of distress. If watering is needed, water the soil within the tree’s dripline and keep the soil moist up to 12” deep. This watering is required for the duration of a drought, every 10-14 days.
NATURAL SYSTEMS arborists are highly trained in Tree Removal, Tree Trimming, and Stump Grinding. Call us at (860)621-0008 to find out more about our expert arborist services in Southington and central CT.