Transplanted Tree Watering Requirements – Watering A Newly Planted Tree

Watering A Newly Tree
Young couple planting the tree while Watering a tree working in the garden as save world concept, nature, environment and ecology.
(Image credit: v_zaitsev)

When you plant new trees in your yard, it is very important to give the young trees excellent cultural care. Watering a newly transplanted tree is one of the most important tasks. But gardeners have questions about how best to do this: When should I water new trees? How much to water a new tree? Read on to find answers to these questions and other tips on taking care of a newly planted tree.

Transplanted Tree Watering

The process of transplant is hard on a young tree. Many trees do not survive the shock of a transplant and the top reason involves water. Too little irrigation will kill a newly planted tree, but so will excess water if the tree is allowed to sit in it. Why is watering a newly transplanted tree such an important issue? All trees uptake water from their roots. When you buy a young tree to plant in your backyard, its root system has been cut way back no matter how the tree is presented. Bare root trees, balled-and-burlapped trees and container trees all require regular and consistent watering until their root systems reestablish. Watering a newly planted tree depends on things like the amount of rainfall you get in your area, wind conditions, temperatures, what season it is, and how well the soil drains.

When Should I Water New Trees?

Every stage of a transplanted tree’s first few years has irrigation requirements, but none are more important than the actual time of planting. You do not want the tree water stressed at any point in the process. Water thoroughly before planting, at planting time and the day after planting. This helps to settle the soil and get rid of large air pockets. Water daily for the first week, then twice a week for the next month or so. Take your time and be sure the water soaks the entire root ball. Also, try watering them later in the evening, after the heat of the day has subsided. This way, the water will not evaporate immediately and the roots get a good chance at absorbing some of that moisture.

How Much Should I Water New Trees?

Gradually water less frequently until, at about five weeks, you are giving the tree water every seven to 14 days. Continue this for the first few years. The rule of thumb is that you should continue providing water for a newly planted tree until its roots are established. That period depends on the size of the tree. The bigger the tree at transplant, the longer it will take to establish a root system and the more water it needs each watering. A tree that is about 1 inch (2.5 cm.) in diameter will take about 18 months to establish, requiring about 1.5 gallons (5.67 L.) of water at every watering. A tree that is 6 inches (15 cm.) in diameter will take some 9 years and need about 9 gallons (34 L.) at each watering.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.