How Often to Water New Trees: Scheduling Guide

Newly planted trees require more frequent watering than established trees. Young trees need the right amount of water to establish roots and begin healthy lives. Watering can be tricky if you don’t know how often to water new trees. Too little or too much water can kill a tree.

If you need professional help caring for your new tree, schedule tree service in Land O’ Lakes by Arborist Aboard.

When to Water Newly Planted Trees

Like most things, your watering schedule will depend on factors ranging from the size of your tree to weather and soil conditions. A young tree requires significant amounts of water during early growth to develop its anchoring and feed itself. Getting sufficient water during the hot, dry summer months may be challenging for a young tree.

Proper watering starts before, during and after planting. Be sure to water the plant’s entire root ball when you remove it from its nursery or unwrap the burlap around it. It’s not uncommon for the soil within the root ball to be dry, making it more difficult to absorb moisture from the surrounding soil unless you wet it before planting.

Once you’ve planted the tree, water it daily for the first week, then twice a week for the next month or so. Consider watering later in the evening, after the day’s heat has subsided. That gives the roots a good chance to absorb some of that moisture before it evaporates.

How Much Water Do New Trees Need?

How much water you should give your newly planted tree also depends on a wide variety of factors. A good rule of thumb is to irrigate a newly planted tree with two to three gallons of water per inch of its trunk diameter. The trick here is to provide sufficient water around the root ball. Most importantly, water low and slow.

A slow infiltration rate gives the young tree’s roots a more extended period to absorb water and allows water to move deeper into the soil, where it’s better for the roots to grow.

You also want to provide 1.5 to 2 inches of water each week throughout the summer and fall until temperatures cool. Consider investing in an irrigation system that will make things easier.

Mulching Matters

Don’t forget to fertilize the soil to keep the tree nourished and healthy. Organic mulch works best, increasing the chances of your tree’s survival by:

  • Enriching the soil’s capacity to hold water 
  • Regulating the soil’s temperature
  • Slowing the rate of water evaporation from the soil
  • Suppressing the growth of weeds that would otherwise compete with the plant for water and other resources

Other Factors Affecting How Often to Water New Trees

Tree size and species: It helps to know the average water needs of the trees you choose before planting.

Location: The specifics of the tree’s surroundings will affect its water needs. Is the tree in the sun, a low spot, a shady site, or a windy spot?

Soil depth: The soil’s depth affects how much water the ground can hold.

Soil texture: The soil’s texture refers to the percentage of its components, which affects how fast water will run through it.

Temperature: Outdoor temperatures and duration of sunlight directly impact a tree’s water needs.

Competition: Trees and shrubs surrounding your plant will compete for water, so you’ll want to supply sufficient water for every plant.

Call Our Experts Today

Arborist Aboard provides professional arbor care services backed by certified arborists. If you’d like help figuring how often to water new trees, we’re just a phone call away. Contact us to learn more about the types of trees in Florida and find out more about our services. Dial (813) 920-4410 for a free estimate.

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