When To Start Watering Trees In Spring
Date April 15, 2021
Water is essential for trees, and they need it all year round. Sometimes Mother Nature provides them with enough to sustain them, and sometimes they need a little extra support. That’s how you can help. Watering your trees in the spring can give your trees the boost they need during the growing season. But it would help if you watered your trees correctly so you don’t overwater them, which can cause a host of other issues. Here are some tips for when and how to water your trees in the spring.
Why do trees need water?
Water is vital for trees because they need it for photosynthesis. During photosynthesis, trees absorb carbon dioxide and water from the air and the soil. They transform the water into oxygen, which they release back into the air, and carbon dioxide into glucose molecules, which they use to store energy. You probably remember that part from biology class, but that’s not all. Only about 10 percent of the water that trees absorb is used for photosynthesis. Most of it is used for transpiration. As the water moves from the roots to the leaves, the water carries nutrients throughout the tree. The water then evaporates from the underside of the leaves (transpiration), which cools the leaves. So water helps your trees do three essential things: create photosynthesis, transport nutrients, and cool their leaves. That’s why they need a lot of it. If they don’t get enough water, that can cause tree decline and make them susceptible to pests or disease, so supplemental watering should be a part of your tree maintenance plan.
When to water your trees
Your trees need water in early spring before your trees break bud or leaf out, but they only need supplemental watering if the weather has been arid. If the ground feels dry down to four to six inches deep, you need to provide supplemental water for your trees. If it feels moist, your trees don’t need extra water. Don’t worry if your trees have already started leafing out. Just ensure that your trees have enough water before their leaves or flowers are fully grown. Continue to check and water your trees throughout the year, except when the soil is frozen.
How to water your trees
Tree watering tips for young trees:
- If you have young or newly planted trees, keep in mind that they will need a lot of water to kick start their lives. The first three years are the most critical. You need to keep the soil moist but not water-logged.
- Depending upon site location, soil type, drainage, and rainfall, a tree should get five to ten gallons of water per week per caliper inch. To determine the caliper inch, measure the diameter of the trunk six inches from the ground.
- In spring, fall, and winter, provide five gallons of water per caliper inch. During summer, increase the amount of supplemental watering to ten gallons per caliper inch.
- Water the root ball and just beyond.
- Water your trees twice a week to give the soil time to dry between watering. We suggest every Monday and Thursday.
- During a week of heavy rainfall, skip the supplemental watering. Be wary of water sitting at the base of the planting hole and water-logged soil. Over-watering can kill a newly planted tree.
Tree watering tips for mature trees:
- Although young trees need more water, you need to pay attention to your tree’s watering needs throughout its life. In North Texas, trees need water in the spring for the growing season, in the summer when it’s scorching and dry, and sometimes in the fall and winter, we have periods without rainfall.
- You must understand your property’s drainage conditions. If your soil drains quickly, it will require more frequent watering. To check the drainage, check the soil at six inches below the surface and water when it’s dry.
- For large trees, water the area under the canopy, extending a few feet beyond the dripline, which is the outermost circumference of the tree’s canopy. Do not focus the water at the tree’s base, as most of the tree’s fine feeder roots are located a few feet away from the tree’s trunk.
- The best way to water your trees is with a soaker hose or a drip irrigation system. The best time to water is in the evening or at night to reduce evaporation loss. Using proper mulching techniques will help keep moisture in the soil for longer.
- For established trees (three or more years after planting), irrigation schedules and amounts may vary. Research your mature tree to understand its specific watering needs. Many native Texas trees are drought-tolerant and might not need as much supplemental watering. If you have questions or concerns, one of TreeNewal’s ISA Certified Arborists can visit your property to determine a customized tree care plan.
Have questions? TreeNewal can help!
If you have questions about watering trees or spring tree care, our ISA Certified Arborists are available to visit your property and assess your tree’s health. TreeNewal is a certified arborist tree service with two certified arborists on staff and a team of highly qualified tree care experts. If you need professional tree care, our tree doctors in Dallas are the best in the business. They can make knowledgeable recommendations for optimizing your tree’s health. We care about tree health care at all stages of the tree life cycle. We are experts on both young and mature trees, and we offer a variety of expert tree care services, such as tree planting, tree trimming, tree pruning, disease and pest control, root aeration, and tree removal. For more information, go to our website at treenewal.com. To set up an appointment, call us at tel:(817) 592-6846.
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