Dealing With Drought and Keeping Your Trees Healthy
The most important thing for your trees to grow is ensure they have enough water. In recent years, many areas have experienced severe drought, which has been hard on trees especially new trees. Then when it rains most of the water just runs into the storm sewers because the soil is simply too hard to absorb it and therefore the trees never get the water they need so badly. While new trees will suffer faster from lack of water, most mature trees don’t get the water they need to stay healthy and stress free during a drought summer.
If you see that the leaves on your tree(s) are discolored, deformed, wilted or if the tree is losing its leaves your tree is likely coping with severe drought. The soil that beneath the mulch should be damp and cool at all times. If is isn’t, then you need to water it with a hose.
For the first couple of years after you plant your tree you will need to water twice a week for 15 minutes. In year three you can change the frequency to once a week for one hour so that your tree gets deep soaking regularly.
The best way to water your tree is to place a soaker hose in concentric circles right to the canopy edge. If you don’t have a soaker hose it’s worth buying one, but you can make do with a regular hose (nozzle removed) placed in the root area on a slow trickle. Regularly move the hose to a new area. That way you can be sure that all the roots are getting water. You shouldn’t use a sprinkler because when tree leaves get wet, they are more at risk of getting a fungal disease.
Make sure there is never water standing under the tree. If after watering your soil is soaked you can reduce either the frequency or duration of watering, or both.