Dwarf Alberta Spruce - Knowledgebase Question

Lakeland, TN
Question by mpiccatto
October 16, 2005
I just planted two Dwarf Alberta Spruce trees and was told by a friend that they had to be watered daily for the first year. Is that true? If not, how often do I need to water them in the absence of rain? Does the watering requirement apply to all four seasons of the year.

Marilyn Piccatto

Answer from NGA
October 16, 2005


You may need to water them occasionally, depending on the weather and your soil, but daily watering is not necessary and certainly not for a year. And you would not be watering when the ground is frozen. There is no set time table for watering. In rainy or cool weather you might not need to water at all, in a scorching hot dry spell of August you might need to water once a week. Your goal in watering is to supplement rain if needed so that the soil stays evenly moist like a wrung out sponge - it should be saturated/sopping wet or bone dry. To know if you need to water, dig into the soil with your finger. If it is still damp, you do not need to water yet. When you do water, apply it slowly and thoroughly so it soaks down deep and encourages deep rooting. (A daily light watering will encourage unhealthy shallow roots.) After watering, wait a few hours and then dig down to see how far the water soaked in; sometimes it can be surprising. Using a layer of organic mulch year round will also help keep the soil naturally moist. Apply it in a flat layer two to three inches deep over the root zone, but do not allow it to touch the trunk. Enjoy your new trees!

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