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Watering New Trees: A How-To

28 July

Once you have planted a new tree or sapling, it is time to take care of it to make sure that it will grow healthy and tall. The one thing that every tree owner must remember is that they need to water new trees. Watering new trees is an easy process but oftentimes a tree can be given too much or too little water and it will end up dying. Always water new trees, but be careful how you do it and how often you do it.

How To Water New Trees

Watering newly planted trees…

Picture of established roots, what happens when a tree gets enough water.

For the first two weeks, it is crucial a tree gets a lot of water to establish its roots. In general, water a new tree once a day for the first two weeks after it has been planted. Heavy moisture is critical to get a tree established in its new home. As for the time of day, try to water new trees in the evening. After the major heat of the day has passed, then you are safe to water your tree. Watering later helps because the moisture will not evaporate very quickly so that the roots will get their chance to absorb some of the moisture.

What to do after the first 2 weeks:

During the first two years that your tree has been planted, it is rapidly trying to establish itself and grow. The tree is spending a lot of energy because of this, and therefore requires more water than normal trees do. After the first two weeks, a tree needs to be watered about once a week. It does not need as much attention as the first two weeks, but make sure not to forget to water your new tree. After two years your tree should be established enough to live on its own. The roots are now set and the tree can withstand many different conditions because of its root structure. Some varying conditions can affect this watering schedule, such as droughts. If your area gets droughts often, it may be more appropriate to find a drought-tolerant species to plant.

How Much to Water New Trees?

Picure of man using hose to water new tree

As previously mentioned, watering can potentially harm a tree if given too much. Water new trees when you know how much your tree needs. Over-watering is much more common than under-watering. You will want the soil to be moist and not soggy when you water new trees. Damp or moist soil that dries shortly can let the right amount of oxygen transfer through the soil. A rule of thumb would be to water with a steady stream for about 30 seconds. If necessary, you may use a trowel to dig a trench 2 inches deep. Check with your hand at this depth to test moisture. If it is damp, do not water any more.

Watering New Trees 101

Now that you know how to water new trees, you have the ability to keep them alive and growing healthy! Planting a sapling is one step, but keeping them alive and growing is a whole other process. Remember to take care of all of your plants!