How Much Water Does My Tree Need Weekly?

How Much Water Does My Tree Need Weekly?

Balance is important in all aspects of your life. Surprisingly enough, this includes tree care!

Watering the right amount is essential to keeping your trees strong and healthy. Both watering too much or too little can be harmful.

If the leaves are brown on the edges and are drooping or wilted, your tree isn’t getting enough water. On the other hand, green leaves that easily break could mean you’re over-watering.

The amount of water your tree needs changes depending on how old it is so ensure you know the perfect amount. Read below to find out how to maintain the balance for all your trees!

How much should I water my young trees?

Young trees need more care and attention for the first 1-2 years. During this time, trees focus on growing their roots, which is why you’ll see little above ground growth. The magic is happening underground!

By providing the tree with enough water, you’re helping grow strong, substantial roots while also promoting stem and leaf growth.

On the flip side, if you don’t water your newly planted tree enough, your tree will develop minimal roots, suffer from canopy dieback and take longer to establish.

To set your new tree up for success, provide 20 gallons of water weekly. The easiest way to do this is to pour a 5-gallon bucket over the drip zone, the part of ground the canopy covers, four times.

Otherwise, leave a sprinkler or hose out anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. To pinpoint exactly how long, place an empty soup can under the tree. Time how long it takes to fill with two inches of water, then water for that long in the future.

How much should I water my mature trees?

The roots of a mature tree have already spread out, so it doesn’t need as much attention! Plan to water mature trees 1-2 times a month.

Based on the amount of rain and heat levels in your region, this may vary. And, it’s always smart to water more often when there is a drought.

To see if your tree needs water, poke a long screwdriver into the dirt—if it’s hard to push in, water.

Try deep root watering to water the tree less often while ensuring it gets the proper amount of water!

Looking for more tips on how to care for your trees? Have timely, tree care tips delivered to your inbox with Davey’s eNews!

  • The Tree Doctor June 14, 2017 >Hi there. Great question! To make the best recommendation, we would need to know what type of fertilizer was used, when it was applied and who applied it. You can email us at blog@davey.com. Or, take a look at our blog post on proper fertilization practices, blog.davey.com/2016/05/what-when-and-why-the-best-way-to-fertilize-trees/. Here if you have any other questions.
  • N. Argo June 14, 2017 >60 + years old cedar tree on fill land...when does it need feeding nutrients? Was damaged over a year ago and fed twice since.
  • The Tree Doctor April 17, 2017 >Hi Debbie. So sorry to hear that your maple trees are struggling. Without seeing the tree in person, it's tough to say whether you should wait or not. Transplant shock can last up to 5 years, and the bigger the tree, the worse transplant shock can be. If the leaves falling off are clear, yellow or brown without any lesions, it's likely happening because of environmental factors. As far as watering goes, a soaker hose could help disperse the water better. Then, to check if the tree is alive, you can try to look for live tree buds. We'd recommend having a certified arborist out to inspect the tree and see what can be done to help it further. Hope this helps, Debbie. Here if you have any other questions.
  • DEBBIE HEWITT Hewitt April 9, 2017 >Had 5 200 gallon Maples (! is probably 30 feet tall and 5 inches in diameter on the trunk)planted in November. We are on black land. Greened up as expected in early March but now suddenly within the past 2-3 weeks have started dropping leaves and "looking dead". We had this occur several years ago with some young Live Oaks we planted that did the same and then the next year surprisingly leafed out. Very glad did not pull them up as my Father had suggested telling me they were dead. I am heartbroken, have been watering pushing the hose deep into the ground around the base of the trees. Please tell me they are in shock and to wait...Deb
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