Water Your Trees Please
It’s historically dry out there, the time to water is now! Here are some watering tips:
- For newly planted trees (planted 1 – 3 years ago):
These trees are the most susceptible to damage/death due to inadequate water. But you should prioritize which trees to water by starting with those trees located in areas with limited soil – think street trees and those surrounded by/near concrete and curbs.
- Water SLOWLY. The ground is hard and dry – water will run off if too much is applied too quickly.
- Place a hose a foot or so from the base of the tree and turn it on to a trickle. Let it run for an hour or two (or more), occasionally moving it the hose nozzle to provide water to the entire root zone of the tree. If you have a small sprinkler head you can use that to cover a wider area – but again turn it on to low.
- You can also water with a 5 gallon bucket that you have drilled some (5 is sufficient) holes in the bottom about the diameter of a pencil lead. Place the bucket at the base of the tree, fill the bucket to the top with water, let it drain, move it slightly, and fill it again – up to 5 times.
- If you can, place a mulch ring around the tree following the 3-3-3 rule. Mulch keeps the water in the soil feeding the roots by slowing evaporation.
- After you’ve saturated the soil around the tree, remember to do it again in 3 – 4 days’ time. If you are unsure about when to water again, check our Watering Alerts.
For Established trees:
- All trees in this drought can use some water, especially street trees. If you have street trees in front of your home letting a hose drip onto its roots for a few hours will be a big help! Move the hose nozzle around every hour or so to water the entire area.
- The rule of thumb in these severe conditions is: WATER!
Thanks for your help!
The single most important factor for young tree survival is water. Continue watering through the first two to three years after planting. Young trees need 25 gallons of water per week, equal to 1.5 inches of rainfall. You can prevent wasteful runoff by adding a 25-gallon slow-release watering bag (Ooze Tube) shown below. Fill it up just once a week.