Here’s How Often to Water New Trees

Knowing how often to water new trees is a must-have in your arsenal of garden-care knowledge. Too much or not enough moisture can both become the undoing of your leafy friends. So, what’s the golden mean here?

As a trusted arborist in Decatur, GA, we at Don’s Tree Service know a thing or two about landscape care. Keep reading as we break down the intricacies of moisture management!

Fresh from the Nursery

You should water a newly planted tree right off the bat. A good rule of thumb is to give it about two to three gallons per inch of trunk diameter. Since most saplings only have roots that extend as far as their root ball, don’t worry about watering a wide area; focus on the base.

Without moisture, your specimen will begin to suffer from stress, especially under hot, dry weather. This initial, liberal watering helps eliminate air pockets around the tree’s roots, ensuring they make firm contact with the soil. 

The First Weeks

In the first two weeks, daily watering is crucial for your tree’s survival. If Mother Nature decides to bless you with rain, you may skip a few sessions. 

Once your tree reaches the three-week mark, you can start to ease off the pedal a bit. Move to an “every other day” schedule while still keeping an eye on the rainfall. As a general rule of thumb, wait for the first two to three inches of soil to dry before you whip out your hose again. 

The season also impacts how often to water new trees. When you plant your sapling during peak summer, it may require a bit more attention due to the blistering heat. The cold months, meanwhile, are more lenient since evaporation rates are slower and the ground stays moist longer. 

Week Ten and Beyond

At this point, your watering schedule should shift to weekly, providing, of course, the weather doesn’t throw any curveballs your way. Continue to monitor the topsoil and ensure it doesn’t feel bone dry before the next watering session. 

Remember, as young trees grow, their roots will spread further into the soil. So, the watering area should also increase over time.

A tree usually takes two to three years to establish its root system fully. If you don’t have the time or inclination to care for it during this tricky period, installing a soaker hose or drip irrigation system can help immensely. This system will do the heavy lifting for you, ensuring your tree receives just the right amount of water.

Consult an Arborist

While this guide gives you a decent idea of how often to water new trees, many factors can influence the frequency, including:

  • Planting location
  • Competing vegetation 
  • Tree species and their growing seasons
  • Soil type and its drainage capability
  • And more

Dial 770-413-TREE and let our crew at Don’s Tree Service do the heavy lifting during this delicate period. Our arborist services also include preventative tree care, removal, stump grinding, and emergency interventions!

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