“How much water does my tree need on a weekly basis?” “What is the best way to water my tree?”  These are questions that KTS receives throughout the growing season. Below are tips to ensure your trees are receiving adequate moisture.

Typically, most trees prefer about an inch of water per week, taking into account precipitation.  Some trees may require a bit more depending on species, but if you can get them an inch of water per week, then you are off to a good start.  There are a variety of ways that one can water a tree, but the most important factor is to ensure the entire drip line area receives moisture.  This is the area of the tree in which the crown or leaves of the tree overhang.  Avoid watering just the base of the tree, although with smaller trees this may be your only option.  Watering methods can vary greatly.  Soaker hoses, sprinklers, or simply a hose on a very slow trickle are all methods of delivering water to your trees.  A slow trickling hose may make it hard to measure the amount of water applied, but using soaker hoses and sprinklers are easily measured.  Simply place a collection device of some sort (i.e. measuring cup, tuna can, coffee can, etc.) under the water source and then measure the amount of water that is collected.

Another question we often hear is, “How do I know which trees to water?” Certainly, all of your trees will need watering, but some will take priorities over others.  First, make certain to water newly planted trees diligently over the first couple of years after planting, but do not overwater. Keep in mind the inch per week rule.  The next trees in line for watering are the trees scheduled to receive a trunk injection or soil injection treatment for a pest or disease.  Whether you are applying the treatment or a professional is doing it for you, it is very important to water prior to application. This is especially important during a period of drought.  Water in the ground will helps the tree continue to uptake water and other materials in the ground, thus easing the transport of the applied product throughout the tree. In addition, the treatment product is more evenly distributed which provides the best protection for your tree.

There is lots of information about how to water your trees, but the most important points to remember are to provide an inch of water per week, watering priority is given to newly planted trees and trees that are in line for treatments.  As always, if you have any questions, contact the Plant Health Care Department.  Our goal is to help you be the caretaker of your trees!

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