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Trees of all ages require watering to remain healthy.
Newly planted trees require regular watering to become established. At the time of planting, a basin can be constructed around the tree, slightly larger than the root ball to help direct water to the tree's roots. Fill the basin once or twice a week, as needed, to keep the root ball moist. More frequent watering may be required during periods of hot weather. Since soils and environmental conditions vary, periodically check the soil to see that it is not too wet or too dry and that you are watering deeply enough. Be sure to water the entire root area and slightly beyond.
Young, established trees require infrequent deep watering for root development and good tree growth. Drip irrigation is best to apply water slowly onto the soil, allowing the water to infiltrate into the root zone. A system that allows approximately 40 gallons of water to infiltrate per watering is a good starting point to keep the tree's roots moist. A good system is calibrated to adapt to the soil, weather conditions, and tree type prior to installing and irrigating.
Mature trees may only require watering in the hotter summer months. Water should be applied under the drip line when possible. Trees should be watered so the soil is at field capacity.
To conserve water and control weeds, apply a four– to six–inch deep organic mulch around the tree. Don’t use plastic underneath the mulch. Plastic holds too much moisture and inhibits oxygen exchange, leading to root and trunk rot. An initial barrier of newspaper or a single layer of cardboard can be used to help reduce weed growth for new mulching under trees.To avoid crown rot, keep the mulch off the tree trunk.
During their lifetime, trees will require pruning. Pruning is an important part of an overall tree care program.Pruning should be performed for the following reasons:
- Remove dead, damaged, and diseased branches
- Correct or remove structural defects
- Restore the canopy after a catastrophic limb failure
- Reduce branch weight
Proper pruning builds structural stability in the tree and promotes tree health. Tree Pruning should be performed by a qualified tree service that is licensed and insured for the protection of the tree owner. A Certified Arborist, Tree Worker or Board Certified Arborist should be on site to supervise the work and follow the written job specifications See our quick documents section for proper structural pruning details or see our Other Forestry Resources page for places to learn about proper tree pruning.