Tree Watering Tips

Remember: Container grown trees that you have planted need to be watered more often than ball and burlap trees. This is especially true for trees or plants that are grown in organic materials such as bark or decayed mulch.

Caution: Do not over water your trees! The symptoms of drought stressed trees are very similar to the symptom of over watering. Please, don’t love (water) your plants to death!

  1. You should water large trees or ball and burlap trees from drip line to drip line and beyond for about two hours one time per week during drought conditions. You should water smaller container grown trees or shrubbery that you have planted once or most likely twice per week during drought conditions. See picture below to see the proper area to water your trees.

  2. dripline
  3. It’s best to water your trees using a good quality water sprinkler. You can purchase a good sprinkler for approximately twenty to thirty dollars at your local hardware or department store. There are many different sprinkler brands that will work well but make sure not to buy one of the cheaper models because they don’t always water evenly; they clog more often if your water source is a well. See picture below.

  4. sprinkler
  5. Don’t water your trees during the hottest time of the day. Water droplet’s on the leaves can magnify the sunlight like a magnifying glass and damage the leaves. Also you will lose much of the water due to evaporation due to the heat of the sun. The best time to water is early morning just before the sun rises. This gives the water time to soak into the ground and reach your trees root system. You can also water in the evening just before dark. Watering in the evening can cause fungus problems to your lawn and some types of shrubbery or trees. I would water your trees mostly in the mornings and sometimes in the evening to prevent this problem.
  6. If you are watering a newly planted tree you should water either by just using a water hose or better yet you can use a soaker hose or a small spot sprinkler. When watering a newly planted tree with a water hose, turn on your water to a small steam about the size of a pencil. Place your hose at the base of your tree on the uphill side and let the water run for approximately fifteen to thirty minutes depending on the size of the newly planted tree. When watering a newly planted tree with a spot sprinkler turn the water on so the sprinkler only has a very small spray on and near the freshly dug ground. See illustrations below.


We hope this information on watering helps you properly water your trees and shrubbery. For more information please contact us and talk to one of our Arborist.

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