Trees & Gardens

Tips for Tree Watering This Summer:

  • Research and select trees which are suitable to the expected site conditions including the expected available water
  • Remember that the tree you select will hopefully grow for over 50 years and that projects show a slight rise in daytime temperatures and extended periods of low precipitation during the summer. Selecting a tree which requires high available water in a site which has low available water will require watering during the lifetime of the tree
  • Check out on line information about how to properly prepare and plant a tree
  • Newly planted trees must be checked for moisture weekly and watered if required April 1 - end of September
  • When watering newly planted trees water the tree deeply and less frequently (weekly) to promote root growth down into the soil. Frequent shallow watering promotes surface root which make the tree more susceptible to drought
  • Watering Bags or water rings are great products to ensure that trees get a good deep soaking an can be a good reminder to water trees.
  • Soaker hoses or bubblers are a good way of getting water down into the soil. There are irrigation system components especially designed for watering trees.
  • Educate yourself about the needs and common problems of the trees growing on your property   
  • Monitor both large and small trees for symptoms of drought stress. Wilting, flagging, leaf browning, curling or scorching of the leaf edges, early fall colour and/or leaf drop and stunted growth can be signs of drought stress.
  • Know your property and if there are areas of limited soil volumes or soil depth due to bedrock, building structures, underground services where trees may show signs of stress first
  • Be careful and monitor when changing the cultural conditions around your trees
  • Dig into the soil by hand to confirm that the water is penetrating down (watch out for underground services)
  • Grass competes with the tree roots for water. Available water and tree health can be increased by removing grass and then covering the area beneath a tree with maximum 4” layer of horticultural mulch. The mulch also reduces water evaporation from the soil and helps to keep the soil temperature lower.
  • Surface compaction can make areas impervious to water even when an area is irrigated. Aerate lawns to increase aeration (gas exchange) and water percolation
  • Water the soil rather than the foliage of the tree
  • Don’t concentrate all of your watering around the tree’s trunk, many of the water absorbing roots grow out to and beyond the dripline of the tree
  • Follow the CRD water restrictions or better yet collect rainwater to use on newly planted trees and garden areas
  • Remember that damaging tree roots through excavation work not only reduces the roots available for water absorption but may also impact the stability of a tree. Consult an arborist when excavating in the root zones of trees.

 Trees and Gardens