The time your trees break bud is mostly up to Mother Nature. But proper spring tree care also supports the growth process. That’s where you come in.

Water is incredibly important for trees as they work to establish new leaves and flowers. When you water trees at the right time in spring, you help make sure they have a healthy growing season. So, when’s the best time to water your trees in spring?

Start watering trees in spring when…

Trees need water before their leaf out date. Depending on where you live, that date could fall anywhere from mid-March to early May. Supplemental watering is needed only if the weather has been exceptionally dry. If the soil feels moist four to six inches deep, either from recent rains or snowmelt, you should be OK. If the soil is powdery dry, follow these guidelines:

If you live in a colder climate, the best time to water trees is between late winter and early spring. Hydrate your trees after the ground thaws out but before temperatures get warm enough to prompt new growth. If the ground doesn’t freeze in your area, plan to water your trees as soon as the days start to get warmer and longer.

Don’t worry if you’re a little late! Small spurts of growth here and there are nothing to worry about, but you should aim to start watering your trees well before their leaves and flowers are fully grown.

Common tree watering questions

Now that you know when to water trees in spring, read the tree watering tips below to find out how best to hydrate your trees.

How much water does a tree need daily, weekly or monthly?

Newly planted trees need up to 20 gallons of water each week. But mature trees don’t demand quite as much. Read here for specifics on how much water mature trees or young trees need.

How often should you water your trees?

The simple answer is water your trees when they’re thirsty! If you dig down 4-6 inches into the soil, and it’s dry to the touch, your tree needs water.

How to properly water your trees

If you’ve only ever watered trees with a hose or sprinkler, you’ll love to hear this—there's a much easier, more cost-effective way to get the job done. Here’s how to water a tree with drip irrigation.

Do water requirements change with tree age and condition?

Yes! Tree watering guidelines do change as tree ages. Here's how much you should be watering new trees to get them off to a good start.

What time of day is best to water trees?

Hands down, morning is the best time to water your trees. This blog post explains why.

Have a different tree watering question? Contact a local certified arborist.

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