Proper watering is necessary to ensure your property’s trees are there to provide shade and natural beauty for generations to come. While many people assume that the rain cycle is sufficient for tree health, this is not usually the case. Trees lose water daily and in every season; for every 18 degree increase in temperature, the amount of water lost by a tree and the area around it almost doubles. So, particularly in the warmer months, trees can benefit from supplemental watering. Follow the tree watering tips below to keep your trees in good shape during the summer.

Watering Tip 1
1. Tree watering should occur at night or in the early morning hours. The optimal time is between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.
Watering Tip 2
2. For maximum efficiency in manual watering, use a soaker (drip irrigation) hose. While an ordinary garden hose can also be used, it will require monitoring and must be moved periodically during watering.
Watering Tip 3
3. In moderate conditions, a healthy tree should receive one inch of water per week. (Five gallons per square yard = one inch of water.) During a drought, up to three inches of water weekly may be necessary.
Watering Tip 4
4. Keep the water flow close to the ground surface; the majority of absorbent roots rests in the top 12 inches of soil.
Watering Tip 5
5. Begin watering your tree at its base. Move the hose at intervals until the entire area beneath the canopy has been soaked.
Watering Tip 6
6. Use a screwdriver test to determine if the soil has reached optimal saturation: drive a screwdriver, trowel, or stake into the soil at various locations around your watering spot. When the object can easily be driven six to eight inches into the soil, there is sufficient water in that area and the hose can be moved to another location.
Watering Tip 7
7. Be sure not to overwater the tree, as this can create or exacerbate pest problems or fungus growth.
Watering Tip 8
8. Plants living within the shaded canopy area of the tree can draw more water away from the tree. Consider relocating shrubs and flowers to areas away from the tree’s base.
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Sources: Arbor Day Foundation; University of Georgia School of Forest Resources.

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