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How to Effectively Water Your Trees

Person holding a water hose

Keeping your trees healthy makes all the difference in your yard and can save you money on tree care and removal. At Sussex Tree, we’re here to take care of all your plant health care needs, including how to effectively and properly water your trees. 

While normal rainfall helps nourish trees, that’s usually not enough to keep them healthy when they’re young or going through a dry spell. Trees and climates can vary so it’s not an exact science, but our certified arborists at Sussex Tree have compiled some tips for you on how to water your trees.

When to Water Your Trees

Knowing when to water your trees is determined by several factors including the weather, the tree’s size, and age. Newly planted trees need more water to help them grow. Watering once a week should be sufficient, but if it’s a particularly rainy week, it won’t need the extra water. 

Once a tree is more mature and has an established root system, they are more self-sufficient but can still use watering assistance from time to time. You can check the moisture in the soil by seeing how difficult it is to stick something into it about two inches down around the base of the tree. Harder soil means it’s dry and can benefit from watering. 

How Much to Water Your Trees

You also need to know how much to water your trees. If you have an established tree, use 10 gallons for every inch of the tree’s diameter. If the weather is particularly dry or in drought times, watering should be done more often, especially for newly planted trees. 

Watering weekly and deeply anywhere from 5 to 15 gallons should help sustain it during the dry weather. The opposite applies to seasons that are particularly rainy. April and May might bring enough rainfall that irrigation isn’t needed. Be careful not to overwater! Overwatering can lead to yellow leaves that fall off and an unhealthy tree overall.

What to Use to Water Your Trees

Sprinkler: If you’re using a sprinkler to water your trees, keep the sprinkler low to the ground and watch where the water hits. It won’t help irrigation purposes if the water only hits the leaves and not the soil down by the roots. However, sprinklers are convenient when trying to cover a larger area.

Hose: A regular hose can get the job done but you have to keep an eye on it. Let it sit on the ground next to the trunk and adjust the water pressure so that it’s not forceful or excessive. After a half-hour or so, move the hose around the trunk to moisten that soil as well. Remember—the goal is moist soil, not a puddle.

Soaker Hose: Soaker hoses often provide the best results for watering your tree. The holes in the hose release water slowly into the soil. Wrap the hose on the ground around the base of the tree and keep it running for an hour or so.

Bucket: If you can’t get a hose or a sprinkler close enough to the tree, a bucket works just fine as well. Fill the bucket with water and pour it into the soil. Remember the trick to know how much to water it. You’ll need at least 10 gallons of water to start and keep it hydrated sufficiently. 

Follow these tips and you’ll have beautiful, healthy trees in no time! If you’re looking for more plant health care tips and tricks, check out our tree care blog or contact Sussex Tree for more expert advice.