how to water a tree

How to Water a Tree Properly? Comparing 3 Ways to Water Your Tree

If you’re unsure how to water a tree so that it actually absorbs the water, you’re not alone. Some people spray the leaves with a hose, thinking it will bring life back to them. It won’t! Let’s discuss 3 tree watering methods that actually work.

How Often to Water a Newly Planted Tree?

Before we dive into the methods, how often to water a newly planted tree? In spring, you should water a newly planted tree every other day, except for rainy days. The amount should equate to one inch of rain per week. If you’re using a slow watering system (more on that later), it means watering the tree for 10–15 minutes every time.

In summer, double the amount of water you’re giving the tree. So, if it’s not getting 2 inches of rain per week, you should water it every day for 15–20 minutes. Do it in the evening or early morning so that the water doesn’t evaporate before reaching the roots.

The fall and winter are a period of dormancy for trees. They don’t grow during this time, so they don’t need as much water. How to water a tree during these seasons? You can cut back to watering your newly planted tree for 5–10 minutes a few times per week. When the temperatures drop below 40 degrees, stop watering altogether.

The Traditional Way to Water Newly Planted Trees: With a Bucket

Newly planted trees don’t have deep root systems yet. So, the traditional way to water them is with a bucket. How to water a tree without a slow irrigation system? Slowly pour the water around the base of the tree, being sure to saturate the root ball and surrounding soil. Don’t dump all the water in one spot, or let it run off. You want the water to seep down and reach the roots.

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To calculate the right amount of water, measure the diameter of the tree’s trunk. For every inch of diameter, add one gallon of water. This formula works for established trees – young trees may need more water because their roots are still growing.

Slow Watering: DIY Drip Irrigation Methods (Buckets, Hoses and Bags)

The best answer to the question of how to water a tree is to use a slow watering system, like drip irrigation. Drip irrigation is a method of delivering water to the roots of plants slowly, so that they can absorb it. It’s the most efficient way to water because there is very little evaporation or runoff.

You can make your own drip irrigation system by poking holes in the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket and placing it next to the tree. Or, use a soaker hose or drip bag. These are bags with small holes that you place around the tree and fill with water. The water seeps out slowly, over a period of several hours.

Deep Root Watering: Without Wetting the Surface

Another way to water a tree is deep root watering. This means watering the roots deeply, without wetting the surface of the soil. This way, no water will evaporate, and the roots will get all the moisture they need.

How to deep water a tree? You can purchase a deep root watering tool or make your own out of an ABS pipe. Adjust the pipe length to the depth of the roots, close the pipe with a cap on one end and drill holes on the length of the pipe, spacing them 3–4 inches apart. Insert the pipe into the ground and place a drip irrigation system over the opening. Voilà!

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Do you have any other tips on how to water a tree? Share them in the comments below!

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