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Summer Tree Watering TipsJune 7th, 2013 by
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.
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.
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.
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.
4. Keep the water flow close to the ground surface; the majority of absorbent roots rests in the top 12 inches of soil.
5. Begin watering your tree at its base. Move the hose at intervals until the entire area beneath the canopy has been soaked.
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.
7. Be sure not to overwater the tree, as this can create or exacerbate pest problems or fungus growth.
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.
Sources: Arbor Day Foundation; University of Georgia School of Forest Resources.
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