All You Need to Know About Watering Trees, Part 1

At the heart of caring for not only trees but all vegetative life is the use of water. Just like humans, trees and other areas of nature need water to survive, and knowing how much to give various tree types – and how to go about giving it – is very important for involved tree owners.

At Reliable Tree Care, our tree care services range from basics like watering and fertilization up to disease control, trimming and even full tree removal when needed. In this two-part blog, we’ll go over a bunch of basic information on watering trees – general amounts to know, how to deal with trees of varying ages, and when proper watering times might fall during both individual days and season of the year.

need to know watering trees

General Daily Basics

It’s important to note that these are just general guidelines – every tree is different, particularly when dealing with various species, and how much water yours need will depend on their age, where they’re located, what time of year it is, and possibly several other factors.

That said, it’s good to know a basic range for all trees. Generally, we recommend about an inch of water per day for the soil surrounding your tree, or enough to moisten the soil at least 10 inches deep below the surface. One simple test here is the screwdriver test: Push a long screwdriver into the ground, and see how difficult it is to press it down. If the screwdriver won’t easily penetrate at least six inches of soil, your tree might need additional water that day.

Watering Younger Trees

One of the big areas to differentiate between with watering is whether the tree is nearer to the beginning or end of its lifespan. Those that are in their early years require a bit more attention when it comes to watering.

This is for a few reasons, but primarily because the root systems of younger trees are not fully developed yet. Their roots are mostly in a ball for the first few months at least, and it’s vital to keep this area full of water so the roots grow and continue to expand. As this happens, you’ll have to increase your watering area and water at least twice a week for the first couple years.

Watering Mature Trees

Trees that have fully established their root system, on the other hand, fall into more of a routine when it comes to watering. Roots will now be spread out deeply within the soil and watering will mean soaking the entire area underneath the tree at least a couple times per week during growing seasons (perhaps a bit less if there’s been recent rain, or more if it’s a particularly dry period).

In part two of this blog, we’ll go over some practical areas of watering trees and the timing required here. For more on this or any of our tree trimming or removal services, speak to the staff at Reliable Tree Care today.