Watering new trees - Knowledgebase Question

St. Louis, Mi
Question by GregBrunkho
April 19, 2010
We just purchased 2 new Royal Star Magnolia trees, a new dwarf pear tree and a new dwarf peach tree. On the tags it says to water them daily, but several people say that may be too much. We just planted them, so we want to make sure they get enough water. How much is enough?


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Answer from NGA
April 19, 2010

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Daily watering does seem excessive. I build a watering well or watering basin beneath my newly planted trees by mounding up a few inches of soil all around the tree, about 12" away from the trunk. I fill the basin with water, allow it to drain, then fill it a second time. Watering in this way concentrates the moisture over the rootmass and allows it to trickle down, wetting the entire root system. I do this only once a week - twice a week if the weather is really hot. In general, landscape trees and shrubs need about an inch of water per week. If you have a rainy spring and summer, just keep track of the amount of rain and supplement with water from the hose if rainfall is less than an inch a week. If you water too often you run the risk of over-saturating the soil and driving out the air. Plant roots will suffocate if the soil is too wet and depleted of oxygen. So, build watering basins beneath your new trees, fill them with water once a week and watch your new trees grow!

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