Correct Tree Watering


Here are 3 key watering facts that you should know when caring for your new trees or shrubs:


1. Deep Water Saturation is Key


Why is deep watering my new tree so important?


Newly planted / transplanted trees, with their greatly reduced root systems and the shock from being removed, are in great need of frequently applied deep irrigation. Deep watering keeps moisture concentrations far below the surface, reducing transplant shock, and attracting roots downward deep into the soil.


How deep is deep enough?


Deep watering to a depth of at least 30 cm (12 inch) or more is recommended. Most of the root system of a tree is located within the top 60 to 120 cm (2 to 4 feet) of soil. With new trees, it is also recommended that water be applied directly over the root ball / root mass.


How can I efficiently achieve deep water saturation?


Experts suggest that the best way to efficiently ensure deep water penetration is to slowly and evenly apply a high volume of water in a single application. This means that light watering applications (i.e. via sprinklers. hose, etc.) will not provide adequate water saturation.


2. Trees Need High Volumes of Water


How much water does a new tree typically require?


While there is no standard watering amount that is suitable for all new trees, there are general watering guidelines that can be followed. One commonly used formula suggests 38 litres (10 gallons) of water per week for every 2.5 cm (1 inch) of tree caliper. For example: A single 5 cm (2 inch) caliper (trunk diameter) tree would require approximately 76 litres (20 gallons) of water per week.


Can't I just apply water frequently with a sprinkler?


Watering a tree lightly, even on a regular basis, is insufficient. Most of the water applied will be lost due to run-off and/or evaporation. And most importantly, light applications of water will force roots to the surface, leading to shallow rooting and poor root anchorage.


Why do newly planted trees need so much water?


Newly planted trees lose much of their root system during digging. Because of this, they are much less effective at taking up water, and thus require much more water than established trees.

3. Establishment Can Take Several Years


How long can it take for a new tree to get established?


It can take several years for a transplanted tree to re-establish its root system. On average, a tree requires 1 year for every 2.5 cm (1 inch) of trunk caliper (diameter). This means that a 7.5 cm (3 inch) caliper tree can take up to 3 years to get established.


Why does it take so long for a new tree to establish itself?


Transplanted trees lose much of their roots during digging, and thus experience an adjustment period called transplant shock.


What are the signs / symptoms of transplant shock?


Symptoms vary; However, signs include; shortened or poor annual growth, wilted leaves, increased seed production, reduced flowering, early fall color, and early leaf drop.


What can be done to curb the effects of transplant shock?


Proper and regular watering is essential. Supplemental watering (in addition to rainfall) is recommended for at least the first 2 years. Treegator Slow Release Watering Bags are the best way to make sure your trees receive the deep, high-volume irrigation they need.



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How to Plant a Tree

Ensure that every tree or shrub you plant will grow to its full potential:


  1. Select an appropriate tree for your location.
  2. Dig the hole at least twice as wide as the root ball. (wider is better)
  3. Fill the empty hole with water and check the drainage.
  4. Prune the tree sparingly, only if necessary.
  5. Set the tree in the hole with the root collar flush or slightly above natural grade.
  6. Remove all foreign materials from the root ball.
  7. Gently fill the hole with the same soil that came out of the hole.
  8. Stake the tree only if necessary.
  9. Mulch around the tree at least out to the drip line, 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3 inch) deep and up to, but not touching the trunk.
  10. Water the tree for at least the first 2 years via a thorough soaking each week with a Treegator Bag.
  11. Protect the tree from vandalism or animal damage.
  12. If necessary, use tree-specific fertilizer or root stimulant.