What is Deep Root Watering of a Tree?

What is Deep Root Watering of a Tree?

Everyone is extra thirsty in the summer. You, your pets, and even your trees!

Yes, during long, hot summer days, your trees also need a nice, cool drink of water.

While there are many watering methods, our scientists at the Davey Institute know the best way to water trees.

Drum roll, please… The deep watering method is one of the best ways to keep trees hydrated during dry spells and prolonged drought. Read below to learn more about this approach and how it helps your trees.

What is the deep watering method?

There is much more to your trees than what you see above the ground, which is the beauty of deep watering. This technique delivers water right to where trees needs it the most – their roots!

Deep watering slowly carries water 8-12 inches into the ground - instead of just wetting the surface.

Why is this the best way to water trees?

Deep root watering saves you time and money while creating healthier trees. 

When you water the ground’s surface, much of the water evaporates before reaching the roots. So, you need to water more. This shallow watering also produces a shallow root system. During dry periods and drought, trees with shallow roots struggle to intake enough water from the top of the soil, which dries out first.

Deep watering solves these problems. You use less water while ensuring it gets to the tree roots. Plus, deep watering encourages trees to grow a deep root system, which helps keep it anchored during strong storms and winds.

If you’re watering trees in drought conditions or an area with water restrictions, such as California, you’ll be grateful this technique uses less water. Plus, deep watering is the way to go if you want to reduce your expensive water bill.

Learn how to deep water your tree using a DIY method or a professional tree deep watering tool.

  • The Tree Doctor August 14, 2018 >Hi Rubina, I forwarded this request to your local Davey Tree office. They will reach out to you soon to schedule a free consultation that will provide you with an estimate. You can also contact them directly at (650) 646-7979. Best of luck to you.
  • rubina abbott August 13, 2018 >need an estimate on redwood trees , tree trimming and inspection . Worry about the health of the trees on my back yard property. please call me at 650-906-2091
  • The Tree Doctor March 30, 2018 >Hi Bradley, Your plan does sound feasible. We might suggest making sure water can exit your pipe system at a 2 inch depth as well. Tree roots tend to form close to the soil surface and spread laterally. You can rely on gravity to pull water down to lower depths. Your sandy loam soil will tend to dry out faster than a clay loam soil, so you may want to set your system up to apply water on the somewhat generous side initially, until you have a chance to monitor the moisture levels in person. Your goal is to keep the soil area containing the seedlings’ roots moist. We usually recommend about 1 inch of water per week, which is about 625 gallons per 1,000 feet of surface area. You can calculate the area of soil around each seeding you want to keep moist to get an estimate of how much water needs to be applied to each tree. You will likely have to experiment with your timers over time to determine the setting needed. Remember that as the weather warms, more water will be required. With the sandy loam, drying out will likely be more of a problem than overwatering, because the sandy soil will allow excess water to move down through the soil profile rather than pooling and drowning the roots. Hopefully you find this answer helpful, please do not hesitate to reach back out. Thank you for the great question we loved answering this one!
  • BRADLEY BONDY March 30, 2018 >I am planting 100, 4 year old seedlings. I will only be at location monthly. I want to run a 1" pvc pipe in a grid system to water all trees. tee down into soil around tree about 12". Trees are white pines in sandy loam soil. in southern Mi., the trees barely get water. I will have a timer run water for specified time every week. Does this sound feasible?
  • William Bangs Jr. October 24, 2017 >We have an ash in front of our house and a pine (Austrian perhaps) in back. Davey and worked on both of them. Please tell me how much it will cost to water each of them individually and if there is any savings to watering both at once. Thank you. Bill Bangs 630-208-9465
  • The Tree November 17, 2016 >Hi Mary! Your trees and bushes are lucky to have you looking out for them. Yes, we can help give you an estimate of what deep watering would cost. We've passed along your request to your local office, so they should be reaching out soon about a quote. If you'd rather, you can contact them directly by phone at (303) 214-0383 or online here: davey.com/local-offices/north-denver-tree-service/#main-form. We'll talk more soon, Mary!
  • The Tree Doctor November 17, 2016 >Hi there, Michele! We've passed along your question to your local office, so they should be reaching out soon about a quote. If you'd rather, you can contact them directly by calling (303) 214-0383 or connecting online here: davey.com/local-offices/north-denver-tree-service/#main-form. Talk more soon, Michele.
  • Mary Collins November 17, 2016 >I have been hand watering my trees and bushes since the sprinkler was turned off but with this drought, I'm worried! Can you give me an estimate what deep watering would cost,
  • Michele Miller November 17, 2016 >How much for deep watering?
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