Watering a Newly Planted Tree: Best Practices

Though every tree needs water, you need to understand the reasons why properly watering a newly planted tree plays such a vital role in its growth.

For starters, newly planted trees need frequent watering to establish healthy, strong root systems. As such, knowing how to water your newly planted tree is crucial to not only its survival but long-term health.

This post will explain how and when to water your newly planted trees.

If you need further assistance, feel free to turn to Ocean Spring’s tree service experts.

When To Water Newly Planted Trees

Yes, newly planted trees need more frequent watering than mature trees. However, knowing when to water them becomes just as vital.

Besides watering a newly planted tree at planting, how frequently you water it will change with the following intervals:

  • One to two weeks after planting: During this period, you should water the tree daily.
  • Three to twelve weeks after planting: Here, water your tree after every two to three days.
  • After 12 weeks: Water the tree weekly until it establishes its roots.

How Much Water To Use

You should also pay attention to how much water you use. Though this can be challenging to determine, your tree’s trunk caliper will help you know how much water to use.

To find your tree’s caliper, measure its trunk diameter six inches above the ground. If the diameter equals more than four inches, measure 12 inches above the ground instead.

When watering your newly planted trees, follow this rule of thumb: Use one to one-and-a-half gallons of water per inch of stem caliper.

For instance, if the caliper measures two inches, two to three gallons of water will do. If it is four inches, use four to six gallons.

Where To Water the Tree

Water your newly planted tree directly over its root ball.

Remember to gradually expand the watering area as the tree’s roots grow. Keeping the backfill soil moist will encourage the roots to expand beyond the root ball.

You could create a reservoir by building a circular mound of soil three to four inches high around the tree at the edge of its root ball. Afterward, use a slow trickle to fill the reservoir. Doing so allows the water to sink inches deep into and around the tree’s root ball.

Consider Mulching To Maximize Water Uptake

Newly planted trees often compete for water, nutrients, and space. Fortunately, mulching helps optimize water uptake, root production, and the tree’s establishment.

Begin by removing weeds and turf from the tree’s base to several feet beyond its canopy. Next, apply a three-inch layer of organic mulch at the root ball’s outer edge.

Avoid adding more than a three-inch layer because deep mulch applications could:

  • Limit movement of irrigation and rainwater into the tree’s root ball
  • Reduce oxygen levels and cause root suffocation
  • Create a habitat for pests and rodents that girdle trunks and chew bark
  • Cause bark decay
  • Keep the soil too wet, leading to the development of root rot
  • Cause root growth in the mulch, resulting in stem-girdling and circling roots

Quality Tree Care Services in Ocean Spring, MS

The initial years of a tree’s life play a vital role in the tree’s long-term survival. At Professional Tree Service, we dedicate our experience and expertise to offering an extensive range of tree care services that will help your newly planted tree thrive.

Feel free to browse our extensive resources and learn more about caring for a newly planted tree, including how to prepare the soil for tree planting.

Do you need help watering a newly planted tree? Speak with us today at (228) 669-9388.

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