How to Hydrate Your Trees During Texas Summers
Date August 04, 2022
Texas summers can be brutal on trees. The combination of intense heat and drought can quickly lead to dehydration and tree stress. Without proper watering, your trees can suffer heat stress, leaf scorch, and even death. While watering is essential to tree health, it’s crucial to understand how to properly water your trees, depending on their age and size. In this blog post, we will discuss best practices for how to water trees and offer tree care tips for keeping your trees hydrated.
If your trees are suffering from drought or heat stress, it’s vital to seek treatment from a Dallas tree care specialist as soon as possible to set them up for success heading into the new season.
Signs of Drought or Heat Stressed Trees
- Lighter or yellowing leaves
- Leaf scorch
- Wilting or premature leaf drop
- Leaf drop
- Drooping branches
- Rust-colored spots or small bumps on leaves
- Sap oozing from the trunk
- Peeling or cracking bark
- Reduced or halted growth
Tree Watering Tips
While in-ground sprinklers provide adequate water to smaller landscapes, most trees need special care and attention, especially during scorching Texas summers. Unfortunately, the most common sprinkler systems do not provide enough water in the right areas to hydrate your trees.
The best practice for watering trees is to water them thoroughly and less frequently. This encourages deeper root development.
How to Water a New Tree
Newly planted trees need more water than mature trees, but they require special attention since they are highly vulnerable to over and under-watering.
- Use a garden hose to water all around the tree’s root area.
- After the first watering, check the soil around the tree’s base every two to three days.
- The soil should be wet to a depth of 12 to 18 inches.
- If the soil is dry, water again.
Determining the proper watering schedule for new trees can take some time, but it also depends on soil composition, drainage, nearby plants competing for water, and weather conditions.
How to Water a Mature Tree
Mature, well-established trees have had the time to develop their root systems to store more water and resist drought. Some tree watering tips for mature trees include:
- Watering the entire root zone, including under and beyond the dripline, which extends as far as the canopy.
- You should ensure the soil is adequately hydrated to a depth of 12 to 18 inches.
- Depending on the weather, you should not water your tree for another one to two weeks
- Routine monitoring is required to ensure the tree is adequately hydrated and maintains the correct moisture level.
Homeowners often don’t think about the time of day trees should be watered. To help maximize watering benefits and ensure your trees are getting the most out of your efforts, you should water your tree during the morning or evening. This prevents excessive evaporation from the leaves, which can occur when the tree is watered while the sun is directly overhead.
The Problems of Overwatering
While insufficient watering is the most common problem for Texas trees, overwatering also contributes to poor tree health. The signs of overwatering can mimic dehydration, but here are some things you can look out for:
- Soggy, loose soil
- Yellowing leaves
- Wilting leaves
- Fungus or mushrooms at the base or trunk of the tree
Overwatering reduces the oxygen available in the soil, which may suffocate and slowly kill your tree. An ISA Certified Arborist can diagnose tree health and provide you with a treatment plan to combat over and underwatering.
To learn how to save your tree from overwatering, check out our related blog, How to Rescue an Overwatered Tree: A Comprehensive Guide
Another Tree Care Tip: Mulch
Applying a layer of mulch around the base of your tree keeps the soil cool during intense heat waves and drought conditions. Mulching also helps conserve moisture to ensure the tree’s roots stay hydrated. Placing 2 to 3 inches of organic matter like leaves, grass clippings, or store-bought products can help combat drought and heat stress for Texas trees.
TreeNewal Tree Care Services
Texas summer tree care is essential for all Dallas trees. Prevention and early detection of heat stress are the keys to keeping your trees healthy and thriving all season. TreeNewal’s ISA Certified Arborists understand the many stressors imposed on native trees and how to treat them. For the best tree care Dallas has to offer, contact our tree care specialists today and enjoy tailored tree care services.
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Learn more about TreeNewal’s ISA Certified Arborists!
Healthy trees, healthy lives.