Watering - Knowledgebase Question

Grande Prairie, AB
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Question by rootdawg
May 29, 2007
How often should you water newly planted trees, and how can you tell if it needs to be watered or has been overwatered?

Answer from NGA
May 29, 2007
There is no set schedule for watering. It will depend on the location where the tree is planted, the type of soil, if it is windy, how warm or cool it is, and whether it has rained recently. The best way to tell is dig into the soil with your finger. If it is still damp, do not water yet. When you do water, apply it slowly and thoroughly so it soaks down to the deepest roots. After watering, wait a few hours and then dig down to see how far the water soaked in; sometimes this is surprising.

Also, using an organic mulch helps keep the soil more evenly moist. Apply it in a flat layer two to three inches thick over the root area, do not allow it to touch the trunk or bark of the tree.

Overwatering and underwatering can both cause wilting and foliage damage due to root damage. As a rule of thumb, yellowing at the base can indicate too much water and drying out and wilting at the top would indicate too little. If you have been watering a tree every day heavily, then that is probably way too much. A light sprinkling every day could actually be too litte if it has not been soaking down to the deeper roots. The best way to tell is to check the soil as described above.

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