Tips for Water-Wise Tree Care

By Canopy Team on August 14, 2017

Help your trees thrive this summer with water-wise tree care

It’s heating up out there! Does your tree need a drink? Trees’ watering needs vary, but a general rule of thumb during hot dry weather is to:

Water Wisely

  • Assess soil moisture: Dig or probe the soil to a depth of 6 to 12 inches at several locations around the tree’s drip line. Damp soil is good. Soggy soil means your tree is getting too much water, which can harm it. Dry crumbly soil means it’s time to water!
  • Water gradually and deeply: Apply water slowly and evenly to the tree’s root zone, particularly around the drip line, saturating the soil to a depth of 6-12 inches. Allow soil to dry out between watering.

When to Water

  • Water young trees every two weeks. 
  • Water mature trees once per month, or when soil is dry 12 inches below the surface. 
  • Use 10-15 gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter (measured at “breast height” or 4.5 feet above the ground).
  • Mature native oaks are the exception! Once established (usually 5 years of age), native oaks generally fare better without summer watering, since the combination of heat and moisture can lead to root rot. Learn more about caring for native oaks.

For more water-wise tree care tips, check out Canopy’s trees and water FAQ, watering guidelines, or download our Save our Water and our Trees brochure.

Tree care questions? Contact us!


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