As part of good tree care, proper watering is important, especially during the summer months when less rain falls and other seasonal growing plants compete for the available water. Stein Tree Service offers some watering tips for optimal tree health.
Watering best practices vary with the season and with a tree’s growth phase. A newly planted tree needs to be handled differently than an established tree; they may require a different watering schedule or need different amounts of water. Other factors, such as climate, soil, and the type of tree can all determine the best methods and times to water. For example, leaves can get scalded by the sun if one waters during the wrong part of the day.
Generally, the only parts of a tree that need water are the roots. While you can directly water your flowers or a vegetable garden, tree root systems absorb water from the soil and distribute it throughout the rest of a tree. A good practice is to water deeply and slowly, giving the roots enough time to soak up enough water.
Checking for soil moisture is a good way to see if your trees need watering. However, merely looking at the surface soil is inadequate. Check for moistness by feeling the soil about two inches under the surface. You can use a spade or your hands to push topsoil away for this purpose. If the soil feels dry, you need to water.
Thorough, proper watering once a week (or more often in summer) is better than small, frequent watering. A good guideline is about 5 minutes of hose watering at medium pressure. Too much water is as bad for tree health as too little, so be careful to avoid over-watering your plants and trees.
If you have newly planted trees in your landscape, be aware that those trees need special nurturing, so proper watering is crucial. For the first few months, you only need to be sure the area around the root ball 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.
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 has a drought period or even a shorter period where rainfall is less than expected, 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 necessary, 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.
Stein Tree Service has been nurturing trees in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland for over 25 years. We know how to care for trees, and we encourage residents to learn about proper watering and other best practices to keep a healthy landscape. For information about our services, such as tree trimming and pruning, tree removal and pest management, contact Stein Tree Service today. We offer free consultations.
Stein has a permit to work in spotted lanternfly quarantine areas in Pennsylvania and Delaware. Tree Service Companies have to be trained in proper moving and disposal of materials to avoid spread of the spotted lanternfly and Stein has completed the training courses.