Juniper watering - Knowledgebase Question

Fishtail, MT
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Question by clancywahl
June 1, 2005
I checked the FAQ file but the answer to the following question was not there.

I've just planted 150 of your 'Icee Blue Junipers' spaced regularly on a 30' by 150' patch of uneaven rocky /gravelly soil. I excavated planting holes a minimum of 1' diameter by 1' deep and backfilled them with good topsoil before planting the 1 gallon potted size junipers in them.

My question is: What are the best watering strategies for the Icee Blue Junipers when they are newly planted, as they mature, and when they reach their full 8' diameter size?

I have pressurized water available and can install drip irrigation and/or sprinkler water supply systems, but flood irrigation is not posible.

I live in south-central Montana at 4600' elevation, so there are freezing temps occuring from as early as September to as late as May.

Thank you for your assistance.

Answer from NGA
June 1, 2005
All newly installed trees and shrubs will need to be watered regularly during their first year. The best way to do this is to build water basins beneath each and flood the basins once each week (twice if the weather is hot). You can also install a drip system - just make sure that you thoroughly soak the soil and then allow it to dry out slightly before watering again. Junipers are not always happy on a drip system because the constant watering oversaturates the soil and eliminates oxygen, which can suffocate the roots. If you can't build basins beneath each plant, you can water with a sprinkler. Leave the sprinkler on for 15-20 minutes or until it delivers one inch of water (measure the amount by placing tuna or cat food cans on the ground). It doesn't really matter how you water, as long as you do it slowly so the water can trickle down and wet the entire root mass and then you allow the soil to dry out slightly before watering again. Best wishes with your new plants!

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