Ask a Question forum: watering trees in Arizona

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Tempe, Arizona
Berengar
Jun 14, 2017 6:41 PM CST
I've been told I should water my trees to a depth of 3 feet. I've slow watered my trees overnight two nights in a row and still can't get past a depth of a little over 1.5 feet, I think, because the soil is very hard. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jun 14, 2017 6:44 PM CST
Welcome!

Is the water standing on the surface? Or sinking in, never to be seen again?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 14, 2017 7:56 PM CST
Hmm, are these newly planted trees, or older established trees that you're watering?

If they are older established trees and you've watered down to 1.5ft. that's very likely how deep the trees' roots are going as well. Hard ground will stop root development as well as water.

If they're young trees they probably don't need water as deep as 3ft. As they grow they might actually penetrate their roots into the harder soil deep down. So as they grow, you should try to water deeper.

In either case, you're probably ok for now, but keep on trying! The older trees might actually get some roots going deeper if you are able to water them deeper.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Tempe, Arizona
Berengar
Jun 15, 2017 7:04 AM CST
They are old trees, and the water is sinking in. My understanding is that it's better to go down 3 feet to deposit excess salt in the water, I guess, below the roots. I want to be sure the roots are deep, so the trees don't topple in a bad wind storm - and I want to insure the health of the trees. Thank you both for replies!
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Jun 15, 2017 9:21 AM CST
I water my trees until the water stops sinking in - sometimes that's 3 or 4 days. But I only water once or twice a month, depending upon weather.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Jun 15, 2017 9:25 AM CST
We normally do what Daisy does. When we had a tree we knew needed more water, my husband took 3 ft long pipes and drilled holes in them all up and down their length. He pounded them into the soil in a circle around the dripline, and when we watered, the water went down the pipes too. It made sure that the water got in nice and deep.
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Tempe, Arizona
Berengar
Jun 15, 2017 4:37 PM CST
I think I can purchase at Lowes items similar to the pipes your husband made. How far apart did you space them, and how did you connect them to a hose? Seems like it would take less water if you use this method as it will go directly down rather than so much soaking. I'm trying, in other respects, to conserve water. I want to naturalize the rest of the yard.

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