The Q&A Archives: watering a newly planted tree

Question: I planted, here in the AZ desert, a mesquite tree (24

Answer: The amount and frequency of water depends upon your soil type - which is probably clay and will hold moisture for quite some time. I don't think once a week was excessive but I do think the tree suffered some transplant shock. Mesquite trees are native trees and will flourish in the desert so I think it will come back. Just hold off on watering for now. Stick a probe into the soil (a metal rod or a thin stick) to check soil moisture. It will be easy to push into the soil if the soil is wet but difficult to push if it is dry. The goal is to have the soil moist 12" below the surface at least every 2 weeks. I wouldn't water more often than that - even in the hottest summer months. Mesquite trees tolerate dry soils and overwatering can really harm them. Try watering every 12-14 days and give your tree a few more weeks to show new growth. I'm sure it will.

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