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Water Newly Planted Trees

Posted Apr 22 2009 11:00pm

Water and mulch newly planted trees, to avoid wasting all the effort spent digging the hole and planting the tree.

If the soil around the tree is very dry, it will need several buckets of water. Once the soil is wet, cover it with lawn mowings or another mulch.
When the tree has been mulched it will not need watering so often.

Trees planted before Christmas have had time to develop roots and benefit from the winter rains.

Trees planted after Christmas, nearer to the Spring, have an increasing problem getting established.

* The disturbed soil in the planting hole will dry out easily. There will be problems with capillary action, and water will not be able to rise up from the subsoil.
* The tree will want to grow in the spring.
* As bare rooted plants come out of the winter, they will start to produce roots. But the disturbed soil will not provide a suitable environment for rooting.
* The disturbed soil will not have sufficient water and nutrients to enable the tree to keep growing.

Therefore the newly planted tree will need extra water.

Scrape away a bit of soil from under the tree with a hand. Squeeze the soil between finger and thumb. If the soil stays together it is wet enough.

To check if a mulched plant needs water, move some mulch out of the way, to feel the soil beneath.

It is easier to keep the soil topped up little and often. Once the soil has dried out, it is more difficult to wet because the water runs through the gaps in the soil particles. So it takes more water to wet baked-out soil.

It is very difficult to over-water a growing tree, as the water will just drain away.

When wet soil is mulched with lawn clippings, the moisture is retained.
Mulching is the key to a healthy, well-grown tree.

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