Ways to Water Trees

3 Ways to Water Trees

Below are the three ways we recommend for delivering water to young trees.   All will accomplish the goal of deep watering without losing water to run-off.

A minimum of 15 gallons should be applied each time you water.

Weekly watering from May to October is ideal during the first two planting seasons.

Watering every two weeks is OK, except when the weather is very hot or very dry.

A minimum of 15 gallons should be applied each time you water.


 1.  Gator bags or Ooze tubes

Some of the newly planted street trees have gator bags or ooze tubes.  Both have a space to insert a hose for easy filling; just fill and you are done.  The water seeps out gradually and goes down to the root ball where it is most needed.  Gator bags empty in 5 – 9 hours;  ooze tubes may empty more slowly. Very little is lost to evaporation and none should be lost to runoff.  Small holes can be easily repaired with duct tape.

2.  5-Gallon Bucket

Five gallon buckets with a few small holes drilled in the bottom  can be used for watering trees too.

Simply put the bucket next to the tree and fill it.    Three buckets will provide the 15 gallon minimum or one bucket filled three times.   Consider putting a rock or brick in the bucket to keep it from blowing into the street when it is empty and please remove the bucket as soon as possible when it is empty.

3.  Garden hose

Another simple method is just using a garden hose.  Turn the hose on to a trickle or slow flow and leave it on long enough to deliver 15 gallons.  Adjust the flow so that the water soaks in and does not run off;  you may need to experiment a bit to get the flow just right. Move the hose occasionally.

To determine how long it takes to deliver the needed 15 gallons just place the hose in a 5 gallon bucket and turn it on to the same slow flow you use to water your tree.  If the 5-gallon bucket fills in 10 minutes, you will need to water for 30 minutes to get about 15 gallons.