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I get questions frequently along the lines of: 'how much do I need to water my trees?' The less than satisfying answer, of course, is that it depends on a variety of factors. The weather, the soil, and the tree's own resistance to drought all play a role in determining its need. However, I think some of the tips below will help!


  1. Check for soil moisture. Did you know that a tree that is not receiving enough water can exhibit the same signs as a tree that is receiving too much water? When in doubt about whether your tree is receiving the right amount, the only way to truly know is to check the soil moisture around the rootball of the tree. Our composting and watering video shows you how to check the soil moisture. You'll find it around minute 3 of the video.

  2. Mulch as insulation. If you are down to bare soil or a thin layer of mulch, now is the time to add another fresh layer of mulch. Compost added as mulch will help moderate soil temperature and keep the ground temperature from rising too high during extreme heat waves. It also keeps weeds at bay, which compete for moisture. Plus, the worms, grubs and other bugs that help decompose the mulch, will provide beneficial organisms to the soil and tree roots.

  3. Prioritize your watering. Watering your landscape takes time and water. (I know... obviously, right?) You can prioritize your watering by focusing on your newly planted trees first. They are more susceptible to heat and drought stress than mature trees. That said, it's not a bad idea to give your mature trees a good soaking about once a month. Lawns are lowest priority and easily grow back.

  4. Drip irrigation. Drip irrigation, whether through drip emitters, watering bags, or soaker hoses, provide water at a slower rate of flow allowing for a deeper, more efficient watering of your plants with less run off and evaporation.

  5. Soaker hoses/drip lines. These are handy for trees and plants that are close together or are installed in a long line, such as a privacy hedge. While a soaker hose will slowly emit water along its entire length, a drip line will have an emitter at regular intervals along a solid tube.


I hope these resources will help you to more efficiently and effectively care for your trees. If you have questions about how you might implement these ideas, let’s chat!

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