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5 Favorite Deciduous Trees of the Pacific Northwest Coast
April 16, 2022
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5 Tips for Properly Watering Trees During Summer

Knowing how to water trees optimally is essential to their growth and health. Overwatering trees can result in the trees not getting enough oxygen. It may also lead to root rot, fungi growth, and long-term tree stress.

On the other hand, underwatering trees is also harmful since it leads to dehydration, wilting, and brown and curled leaf tips. In such a scenario, it’s imperative to learn how to adequately water trees to provide optimum moisture in the summer season so they are neither overwatered nor underwatered.

 Let’s learn five key tips to water trees during summer.

1. Determine Tree Type

To start, you need to determine the type of tree you have. Different trees have different water requirements, and it is essential to know which kind of tree you are caring for before deciding on a watering schedule. For example, evergreens need to be watered less frequently than deciduous trees because they retain their leaves and store more water in their roots during the winter months. If you aren’t sure what type of tree you have, the best thing to do is ask your local nursery or garden center staff or reach out to a tree care company such as Vernon Imel.

2. Determine Soil Type

Soil type plays a significant factor in determining how much water your trees need. Most tree roots are in the top few feet of soil, so the soil type is crucial to differences in watering. For example, a red oak (a species with an extensive below-ground root system) won’t need as much water as a silver maple (a species with a sizeable above-ground root system). The tree needs to be watered when the top of the soil is dry to a depth of two inches.

The best way to determine the moisture level of the earth is to use a moisture meter. If you can’t apply the water directly to the soil, water the area immediately around the tree’s drip line (below the edges of the tree’s canopy). This will help to avoid creating a muddy patch. If this isn’t possible, use a soaker hose to water the area beneath the tree’s canopy.

3. Watering Old and New Trees

With increasing age and size, a tree’s need for watering will decrease. Along with less watering, older trees can be maintained by removing weeds and grass around the trunk, trimming large limbs, and periodic fertilization. On the other hand, trees planted within the last two to three years and those with a trunk less than one inch in diameter must be watered frequently. You can optimally water them two to three times a week.

4. Appropriate Watering System

Using Watering Bags

Watering bags provide a controlled rate of water flow to plant roots. Place these bags on the ground at the tree’s base or attach them to the tree itself.

The watering bag should provide one to two inches of water when filled. The rate at which you fill the bag should be in proportion to the size of the pack. In other words, a giant bag should be filled more slowly. Tree watering bags can be purchased at local hardware stores or online. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placing the bag around the tree’s trunk. Then, fill the bag with water and seal it shut. The tree will draw from it over time.

Using a Drip System

For those watering many trees, a drip irrigation system is ideal. It will allow you to water most of your new trees at once without going around and turning on sprinklers for each tree. If you don’t have a large enough drip system, try using a soaker hose. Use it in the early morning hours when the sun isn’t at its strongest. The ground will absorb more moisture this way. Position hoses away from the trunk, as they can encourage the formation of root rot if too close.

You’ll want to water the tree’s soil at least two feet from the trunk. This encourages root growth, which is critical for the health and development of the tree. If your tree has branches between 8 and 12 feet above the ground, you can install a soaker hose at the tree’s base to apply water directly to the root zone. Make sure the water has a chance to soak into the roots, as it will not be absorbed if the ground is too compacted or hard.

5. Mulch Your Trees

Mulch is an excellent way of keeping trees healthy. It not only makes the trees visually appealing but also protects them. Mulch can be made from many different materials, such as leaves, bark, or grass clippings. The most important thing to remember when watering mulched trees is to water deeply and infrequently. This will allow the mulch to hold more moisture in so that the tree can get enough water.

Hazards of Overwatering

Watering trees is a big responsibility, and it’s easy to make mistakes. One of the most common hazards is overwatering. The roots of a tree are its most important part, and they need water just like any other plant. An excess of water will cause the roots to die, killing the tree. Therefore, it’s essential to know how much water your trees need so they stay healthy and don’t lose their leaves or start growing mold.

How Can We Help?

The amount of water you should give your tree during the summer can impact its growth, vitality, and freshness. Where overwatering trees can cause root rot and fungi growth, underwatering is equally as dangerous, as it leads to tree dehydration and wilting. Determining the correct amount of water to give trees is essential to ensure their optimum health.

If you’re unsure how much water you should give your trees, don’t worry. Get in touch with the professional arborists at Vernon Imel today. We will analyze your trees, determine their requirements, and help you properly water them to reap healthy, happy trees.