Taking care of trees is more complex than casually watering them every few days. One of the most significant issues first-time planters face is confusion about the best time to water trees.
There is no definitive timeline for when and how often you should water your trees. However, a few factors can give you a sense of whether or not they are ready for watering, including age, time of day, and tree species.
It’s challenging for the average person to learn enough about their trees and soil to care for them adequately. However, anyone struggling to keep their trees alive can turn to New Leaf Arboriculture, a local Fort Walton Beach professional tree service, for expert plant care and consulting.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to care for your trees on your own, you can begin with this simple guide that will give you a sense of when and how to water them.
Time of Day
Summer weather can be a nightmare for trees. Not only do they receive less rainwater in the sunny seasons, but much of the water that you give them gets lost with evaporation. The easiest way to combat water loss is to water your trees during the coldest parts of the day—either at night or before sunrise.
Even in cold-weather seasons, you should water your trees during the parts of the day when the sun isn’t out for maximum water absorption.
Type of Tree
Not all trees are the same. Some are drought resistant and require less water to thrive, while others are more demanding and need more frequent watering.
Regardless of the type of tree, the best way to check whether or not it needs water is by examining the soil. If it is overly dry, you need to water it.
Generally, watering newly planted trees is far more demanding than established ones. Because new trees are still developing their root systems, they will need far more care than an older tree that can go days without regular watering.
While the specifics of how much water you should give young trees will vary based on the other two factors, you will need to water most young trees up to three times per week until they establish themselves. For some trees, that can take up to two years.
How to Water Trees Properly
It’s just as important to know the best watering methods as it is to know the best time to water trees. Even if you’re watering them the perfect amount, doing so incorrectly can cause them to develop diseases or not absorb enough to continue growing.
The roots of young trees will still be in a ball for the first few months after you plant them. Given how delicate they are, you will need to water slowly near their bases until their roots expand.
The soil near newly planted trees should be moist for six inches. If you cannot easily poke a screwdriver that far into the ground, it’s time to water your trees.
Established trees grow roots several feet outside their drip line, which is the widest part of the top of the tree. Since the root system is so expansive, you will need to water longer than you would for young trees and within the entire zone two to three feet beyond the drip line. However, avoid watering the trunk directly, as this can lead to rotting.
The soil of established trees should be moist to a depth of 10 inches for ideal growth.