Summer Tree Care

Watering needs for new trees will be posted on our website throughout the summer.  Current status -Wet, Normal, Dry, or Very Hot and Dry- will be updated as conditions change. Please contact us if you have questions.

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Ways to Water Trees

Watering Basics for New Trees

  • In Central Virginia new trees need to be watered from May through October the first two years after planting.
  • The ideal watering schedule for a new tree is once a week, unless there is at least one inch of rain.
  • Watering once a month from May to October will reduce tree mortality during a typical summer, but will not necessarily produce a healthy tree.
  • If you cannot water weekly through the entire watering season,  increase watering frequency to once a week when the summer becomes very hot or dry.
  • At least 15 gallons of water should be applied each time you water.
  • These are general guidelines.  There are many variables – soil type, planting location, tree species &  season planted – that will influence watering needs.   Check the soil near the root ball to determine when to water;  the root ball should not  dry out during the summer.

Summer Dos, Don’ts and Tips for Trees

  • Do use organic mulches (wood chips, bark, etc)  to conserve soil moisture and moderate soil temperature.  Mulch should be 2 -4 inches deep and should never touch the trunk of the tree.
  • Do not use inorganic mulches such as stones.
  • Do pay more attention to trees near pavement or other hard surfaces since these trees experience more heat than those in  the middle of a yard or landscaped area.
  • Do water so that it soaks into the ground rather than running off.
  • Deep watering is essential!
  • Do not give small amounts of water.  Even if this is done often, it does more harm than good. This encourages shallow roots that dry quickly.
  • The best time to water mature trees is between late evening, at night , or very early morning.   Trees replace the  water they have lost during the day at night.  Watering at night also reduces the amount of water lost to evaporation.
  • Do not use fertilizers around trees during drought and be very cautious about the use of pesticides.
  • During drought and water restrictions, give trees priority over lawns.  It takes many more years to grow a tree than a lawn.  A lawn can become dormant and, if necessary, can be replaced in a season; it could take a lifetime to replace a large tree.