Watering Trees Effectively - Knowledgebase Question

Columbus, OH
Question by boblo174
September 21, 1999
If I deep soak the tap root only, will the peripheral roots die? How should I water a tree to keep it healthy?

Answer from NGA
September 21, 1999


I'm not aware of any studies that determine what percent of water different roots absorb. However, here is information on watering appropriately for healthy trees. As a tree grows, its new root tips, where nutrients are being absorbed, spread out laterally. If you are watering only at the base of the tree, it's not really being watered effectively. Your watering zone should be out PAST the tree's canopy. As the tree grows, continue expanding that water zone. If you have an irrigation system, you need to move the emitters out. If you use a hose, just drag it out further. In any case, water slowly and deeply to ensure water penetration and to leach salts below the root zone. I hope this info helps!

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