We often water our plants and lawn but forget that trees need water too! Watering trees may be necessary during summer’s hot, dry weather, especially if your trees are young or newly planted.

Trees need an average of one inch of water per week. When watering trees, deeper, less frequent water applications promote better root growth than shallow, more-frequent irrigation.

Young trees haven’t yet grown an extensive network of roots. That’s why they can’t store much water and need water more often. Young trees should be watered once or twice a week in dry weather. Approximately 20 gallons of water per week are recommended.

In times of drought, when it hasn’t rained for a month or more, even large, mature trees will need watering. You can plan to water mature trees 2 – 3 times a month if they are well established.

The best way to water trees is to slowly water them for a long time in the morning or evening so the roots have time to absorb the moisture from the soil as it soaks down. The roots that absorb the water aren’t deep. Roots spread out sideways; most are just a foot beneath the soil’s surface. On a mature tree, roots extend far in all directions, so focus on watering the area beneath the branches.

Effects of High Temperatures on Trees

Prolonged heat and improper summer irrigation can cause permanent damage to your trees, creating potential hazards that pose a risk to your home and property.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to observe your tree’s signs of drought stress. Often insects and pathogens will attack trees that are already weak. Proper deep root watering is the best way to establish your tree’s root system for long-term plant health.

There are some signals to help you spot signs of early stress. If your tree’s leaves are dying off, wilting, or showing folded or crispy leaves, those are signs of a problem. You may still be able to take measures to restore the overall health of your tree.

Other Signs of Irrigation Stress Include:

  • Leaf wilting, curling, or folding
  • Leaf scorch
  • Needle drop in conifers
  • Canopy die-off of main branches or new growth
  • Insect or disease Issues
  • Premature fall color on leaves
  • Leaning or wilting new branches

Watering too much or too little can be harmful. Don’t overdo your watering, as it could cause insect or disease issues.

Let us know if we can help take care of your trees this summer. Give us a call at 360-574-4125.