Summer Water Needs For Newly Planted Trees

August 1, 2018 By ,

Summers in the Portland area are dry with periods of soaring temperatures. Your carefully planted trees need a little extra care in summer as they become established.

Newly planted trees require extra water for the first couple of summers in their new location to prevent drought stress and promote development of a healthy root system. We recommend twice weekly deep watering at soil level using a water hose on low flow (as seen above), a soaker hose (as seen below), or a drip system during the hottest part of the summer. All three of these watering techniques deliver the water to the root zone slowly, allowing the soil enough time to absorb the water and preventing runoff. Deep watering promotes a healthy, deep root system. The amount of water needed will depend on the soil type. Clay soils hold more water than sandy soils.

Be careful not to overwater the tree as this will suffocate the roots by displacing air in the soil. Avoid irrigating the trees with a sprinkler system that wets the bark or the canopy, which can lead to fungal diseases. A few inches of organic mulch around the base of the newly planted tree will minimize water loss. Make sure that the mulch is not touching the bark to prevent fungal disease. This extra work for the first couple of summers will pay off with a healthy established tree.