July 10, 2012
This summer has given us record-breaking heat and no rain. Keeping an eye on your trees and their watering needs is critical during drought conditions. Here are a few tips to help keep your trees watered through this hot season:
Well-established, mature trees should be watered every week or two during times of major drought while young, newly-planted trees should be watered three times a week.
Soaker hose or sprinkler works well for mature trees as it helps reach the whole area around a tree. It is also important to reach deep in the soil around a mature tree. The tree usually needs about 1 inch of water. Use an empty tuna can near the tree to measure the amount of water. Once the can is full you’ve provided ample amount.
Water bags work well for young trees or newly planted trees as water should be concentrated at the base of the tree. During each watering, they need 5 gallons of water for every inch of trunk diameter. So if your tree measures 6 inches in diameter, that’s 30 gallons of water, three times each week. If you don’t have access to a water bag, drill a few holes in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket, place it next to the tree, fill it up and let the water slowly drain out.
Our crew is out in the parks watering all our newly planted trees and shrubs. One big tip they like to provide is the need to mulch trees. Mulching helps keep the moisture in. The rule of thumb is spread the mulch out as far as the tree limbs grow. Also, don’t pile the mulch up on the trunk but spread evenly across the ground.