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Guide to Watering Trees

Watering is a simple yet essential part of caring for trees, especially during extended periods of dry weather. The amount of water a tree needs depends on many factors, particularly the age of the tree. As a rule, newly planted and young trees require more frequent watering than older, well-established trees. Keep your trees adequately watered by following these guidelines.

Newly Planted Trees

  • Because newly planted trees are still establishing their root systems, it’s important to check the soil around them often to make sure it hasn’t dried out.
  • When watering your tree, make sure you thoroughly water both the root ball and the surrounding area. Allow the water to soak the area and seep into the ground to encourage new roots to grow deeper into the soil.
  • Newly planted trees can take as long as three years for their root systems to become established, longer for large transplanted trees. During that time, trees may need to be watered regularly.
  • Play close attention to drought-sensitive trees like magnolias and dogwoods, which are both popular in South Florida, and likely to show the effects of reduced moisture.

Established Trees

  • The amount of water required to maintain a healthy tree varies with weather conditions, but without adequate rainfall, established trees may need to be watered as often as every 10-14 days.
  • The top 8-12 inches of soil around a tree should be kept moist, at least as far as the branches spread.
  • On level ground, simply let an open hose run on the ground and move it around occasionally to get good distribution.
  • If the ground slopes, a soaker hose or a root-watering needle will be your best options for distributing the water more evenly.
  • Remember, you are not watering the tree; you are watering its roots. It’s important to remember not to saturate the trunk.
  • Proper watering is the single most important maintenance factor for trees. Both too much and too little water can cause trauma in the life of a tree.

Our certified arborists are the “tree whisperers” here at SFM! ┬áIf you are worried about the health of your trees, we’d love to come out and take a look at them.

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