The Q&A Archives: Watering New Trees

Question: Curently I'm watering my new Tree's (2 shade - 2 flowering) 35 minutes twice daily (except when it rains). Each trunk is 1 1/2 or less.

I was told extra watering was needed during the first 3 months for good roots? I did put mulch around each tree

Am I watering too much or not enough? I really want these young tree's to grow healthy.


Answer: I think you're overwatering. Saturated or soggy soils will drive out oxygen and your trees roots will need air as well as moisture for good growth. The rule of thumb is to water deeply once each week. Each tree will need about one-inch of water per week (unless it rains - then you may not need to water). The best way to water new trees and shrubs is to make a watering well or water basin beneath each by scraping out a little soil and mounding it up in a circle around the main stem, about 12" away from the stem or trunk. You'll need a 2-3" mound of soil to make the basin. When it's finished, fill the basin with water, allow to drain and then fill it a second time. Once a week is all it takes. Watering in this way will concentrate the water over the root mass and allow it to trickle down, wetting the entire root system. Over time the mounded soil will erode and the basin will be gone, but by then your tree's roots should be well established.

Best wishes with your new trees!

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