Newly planted trees should be watered at least 3 times a week using a slow soak, deep watering method (e.g. by hand with a water hose, soaker hose, Gator Bag or drip/bubbler system). Your sprinkler system will not be enough unless it is on a drip or bubbler system. Tree Gator Bags need to be filled every 2 to 3 days. During each watering, trees need 5 gallons of water for every caliper inch. So if your tree measures 6 caliper inches, that’s 30 gallons of water each watering cycle.
Caution – There is no set watering schedule, water as needed. Check the moisture level first. Sprinkler systems are not sufficient when it comes to properly watering your trees.
These are just guide lines for watering and certain factors should be kept in mind like rain, cloud cover and temperature. Please adjust watering accordingly.
- Below 70 degrees – water as needed; check top of trees’ root ball for moisture.
- 70-80 degrees – once a week
- 80-90 degrees – twice a week
- 90-100 degrees – three times a week
- 100+ degrees – as needed
- Please keep in mind it is possible to overwater a tree.
For signs of overwatering, start with checking the top of the root ball, which can be done by simply walking across the top of the area. You are looking for saturation; the surface can be damp, but your foot should not sink in.
When using mulch, keep a depth of no more than 1.5 to 2 inches on top of the root ball. Too much mulch can result in lack of oxygen to the tree, causing suffocation.
We strongly recommend the use of Superthrive (vitamin/growth hormone) once a month. If you start to see any decline in the health of your tree, you can increase the usage to twice a month. Bayer Tree and Shrub is another product that is great for defending against harmful insects.
For the first year, use Superthrive monthly (1/2 once per 5-gallons water). Pour at the base of soil well and pour water in thoroughly. We recommend using Osmocote twice a year (in April and August). Use Bayer Tree and Shrub as needed for insects.
Please feel free to call us with any other questions or concerns.
Top Five Mistakes with New Trees
Under watering in the hot summer months see more on water instructions.
Overwatering in the cooler months.
2. Grade Changes
Adding as little as two inches of soil over a tree’s root zone can lead to death from oxygen deficiency. Almost all of a tree’s feeder roots are in the top twelve inches of soil; the top six to eight inches for some species such as oaks. Shallow-rooted species are especially susceptible to this type of damage. Placing soil around a tree to make a raised flowerbed is a slow-but-sure way to damage or kill the tree.
Broadleaf weed killers can also kill trees. They should be used with extreme caution. The same caution applies to weed-and-feed fertilizers.
4. Improper Pruning
When pruning, never leave stubs; these are an invitation to insects and disease. Trouble starts when the stubs begin to rot because the rotten area moves into larger limbs or the trunk. Always remove a limb back to its point of origin – the trunk or another limb. Cut just outside the bark, or “collar,” at the base of the limb. Remember, there is never any reason to “top” a tree. This practice weakens the tree, shortens its lifespan, destroys its natural shape and leads to weak and unsightly new growth that can break in high winds.
5. Mechanical Injury
Many trees, especially young ones, are damaged by the careless use of lawn mowers and weed trimmers. Cutting through the protective bark and into the cambium layer beneath the bark interferes with the movement of water and nutrients and seriously weakens the tree. The damaged area also provides entry for insects and diseases.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to consult with your sales associate.
How Do I Care For My Newly Planted Tree?
Once you purchase your tree, you will receive written instructions that explain the seasonal needs of your tree. Find out more about basic watering instructions and maintenance here.