Trees, mostly the young and newly planted ones, need to be watered during dry conditions. Unlike grass and shrubs, trees do not go dormant during summer. They continue thriving to grow.
The amount of water to use while watering depends on the current weather conditions, climate, and tree species. A watering routine that works for a tree specific species in one region can be very catastrophic to the same species in an area with different climatic conditions.
Whether it is too much or little water, they all have effects on the health of a tree. It may look as simple as it sounds, as everyone can do it. But it can be challenging if you do not know how to do it in the right way. Follow this guide on how to water a tree to keep your tree healthy.
Watering a tree
Watering your trees correctly is one of the best ways to maintain healthy trees. Excessive watering is a common mistake that is usually overlooked in most cases. We often forget that too much water could be disastrous for our trees. Sometimes the symptoms of a water-logged tree can be similar to those of a water-starved tree. For instance, a tree could be wilting due to avascular fungal disease in the roots of excessive water. In most cases, you would then respond by watering heavily and even more frequently, which leads to more problems.
Step 1: Choose a watering equipment
For best results, use a soaker hose and coil it around the tree. Alternatively, try a regular hose, place the hose on the ground next to the tree trunk and turn it on. Adjust the hose so that the water comes out in slow trickles.
Step 2: Water the soil to a depth of about 10 inches.
Most roots are usually concentrated with water at this depth. Thus, watering up to 25 inches (10 cm) ensures that the tree gets enough water.
Step 3: For a newly planted tree, always keep it moist within the first 2 to 3 years
During the early months, focus on watering the root ball of the tree. Afterward, you can irrigate around the perimeter of the canopy. When the tree is about 2-3 years old, it is well established, reduce the watering frequency.
Step 4: When watering grown trees, water 3 feet or 0.91m outside the drip line (perimeter of the canopy)
While watering around the drip line of a tree is a good rule, it may not be advisable for a grown tree. Once a tree is established, the roots extend beyond its drip line.
Step 5: Mulch the tree
Apply mulch around the tree to retain moisture. Use organic mulch, like, pine straw and apply it 2 to 3 inches dip and a half meter wide around the tree. Besides preventing evaporation, mulch prevents grass from growing around the tree.
Do not overwater a tree, ensure that the soil is not saturated. While watering, take breaks between irrigation periods to allow absorption of water. If you are uncertain whether the water is enough, dig to ensure that the soil is not soaked.
Trees need water to grow healthy. If the right method is not used while watering, it could affect the growth of the tree negatively.