Tree Planting 101: Top Tips for Watering Newly Planted Trees

Newly planted trees are at their most vulnerable months after transplanting and before their rooting system develops fully. Normally, the tree’s ability to take up water is greatly reduced until a couple of months when the root system is sizable in proportion to the above the ground section of the plant.

At this stage, you have to give your tree the best watering and tree fertilization Utah County can offer. This will not only ensure that it doesn’t dry up but also give it the nutrients it needs to grow strong and healthy.

How Often Should You Water the Tree?

We have already established that new trees need a lot of water to stay alive. Here is a quick guideline on how often you should water them for the correct sustenance.

    • 1-2 weeks from planting: water daily
    • 3-12 weeks after planting: water every two to three days
    • After 12 weeks: water weekly

You should adjust your watering with regard to the weather and how much water the soil retains. Visually inspect the area next to the tree and avoid watering if it looks waterlogged. Water more often or mulch up the base to retain moisture throughout the day.

How Much Water Is Enough?

Apart from just getting the watering frequency right, you also have to get the amount of water right. In most cases, the amount of water you apply depends on the tree’s size of the trunk. This is so because the tree trunk size is a great way to estimate how much water the plant needs to survive.

When starting out, you will be fine using 1/4 or 1/3 volume of the container the tree came in before transplanting. Here is a guide on the relationship between tree trunk size and the volume of water you should use when watering.

Where Should You Water?

Watering plants

When starting out, you should apply all the water directly above the root ball. You should also keep the backfill soil and area around the tree moist to prompt the new plant to spread out its roots. You can create a 1 foot or a foot and half diameter around the tree and keep it moist to encourage faster root delivery.

If you cannot water more often, consider mulching or creating a water reservoir around the tree base to facilitate drip irrigation. This is especially a great idea if you have to take care of many trees at a go and cannot afford to have someone check on each one and water it individually every day.

Apart from just watering often, you can increase chances of the plant catching up sooner by eliminating any turf and weed for some several feet around the plant. This will reduce competition between other roots and your new tree’s developing root system. You can also improve water retention by applying a 3-inch layer of mulch for a radius of two feet from the tree trunk. This will discourage weed growth while keeping the plant moisture and giving the nutrients it needs to grow strong.

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