Answer: Fertilizing will not help a tree in drought stress. Unfortunately, a daily light sprinkling encourages surface rooting where the soil dries out the fastest. The best way to water is to apply it as a deep, slow soaking about once a week or even every five days when it is hot. Be sure to cover the entire root zone which may extend past the dripline of the tree. The rule of thumb is an inch or two a week from the hose or the sky. Your goal is to maintain a moist soil without it being sopping wet. You may need to dig down at first to see if your watering actually penetrated any distance at all, especially now that the weather has been so difficult. The deep watering encourages the roots to grow deep where the soil moisture is more constant. Also, maintain about two inches of organic mulch to help conserve moisture and keep the soil cool. This type of watering should be done for all newly planted trees for the first year, with added watering in times of dry weather for the next two years. To be honest I can't predict if your tree will make it or not. I hope so.
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