Watering needs for new trees will be posted on our website throughout the summer. Current status -Wet, Normal, Dry, or Very Hot and Dry- will be updated as conditions change. Please contact us if you have questions.
Watering Basics for New Trees
- In Central Virginia new trees need to be watered from May through October the first two years after planting.
- The ideal watering schedule for a new tree is once a week, unless there is at least one inch of rain.
- Watering once a month from May to October will reduce tree mortality during a typical summer, but will not necessarily produce a healthy tree.
- If you cannot water weekly through the entire watering season, increase watering frequency to once a week when the summer becomes very hot or dry.
- At least 15 gallons of water should be applied each time you water.
- These are general guidelines. There are many variables – soil type, planting location, tree species & season planted – that will influence watering needs. Check the soil near the root ball to determine when to water; the root ball should not dry out during the summer.
Summer Dos, Don’ts and Tips for Trees
- Do use organic mulches (wood chips, bark, etc) to conserve soil moisture and moderate soil temperature. Mulch should be 2 -4 inches deep and should never touch the trunk of the tree.
- Do not use inorganic mulches such as stones.
- Do pay more attention to trees near pavement or other hard surfaces since these trees experience more heat than those in the middle of a yard or landscaped area.
- Do water so that it soaks into the ground rather than running off.
- Deep watering is essential!
- Do not give small amounts of water. Even if this is done often, it does more harm than good. This encourages shallow roots that dry quickly.
- The best time to water mature trees is between late evening, at night , or very early morning. Trees replace the water they have lost during the day at night. Watering at night also reduces the amount of water lost to evaporation.
- Do not use fertilizers around trees during drought and be very cautious about the use of pesticides.
- During drought and water restrictions, give trees priority over lawns. It takes many more years to grow a tree than a lawn. A lawn can become dormant and, if necessary, can be replaced in a season; it could take a lifetime to replace a large tree.