New Tree Watering Instructions

Overview

Trees add to the curb appeal of a home and, once mature, can provide shade, reduce soil erosion and block winds. After proper planting, watering is an important requirement for the tree's survival. According to Clemson Extension, "Soil moisture is especially important during the first three years following transplanting." When discussing watering, the questions of how much and how frequently arise. There is no single answer to these questions, as it depends upon several factors, including rainfall, soil moisture, temperature and the species of tree. There are, however, some general guidelines for determining when to water a newly planted tree.

Step 1

Give a newly planted tree an inch of water each week from spring to fall. This measurement includes rainwater.

Step 2

Place a water hose at the base of the tree and let it run at a trickle for an hour or two. Stop the water when the soil is thoroughly soaked.

Step 3

Cover the soil around the base of the newly planted tree with a two-inch layer of mulch. Build up the mulch to create a wall surrounding the tree that is about a foot away from the trunk, to help retain water.

Step 4

Check the soil during periods of extreme heat and drought before watering more than once a week. Dig down six to eight inches near the tree. If the soil is dry and crumbly, then water the tree.

Step 5

Water the tree regularly through August. At that point, Dr. James Klett of Colorado State University recommends that you "gradually cut back on water to allow for 'hardening off' before cold weather sets in."

Step 6

Water newly planted trees during prolonged dry falls and winters. According to Colorado State University Extension, "Water only when air and soil temperatures are above 40 degrees F with no snow cover."

Tips and Warnings

  • Over watering can deplete nutrients in the soil and cause the roots of the tree to remain closer to the surface, instead of growing deep.

Things You'll Need

  • Water hose
  • Mulch
  • Soaker hose (optional)
  • Rainfall gauge (optional)

References

  • Burpee Complete Gardener; Barbara W. Ellis, Editor; 1995
  • Fall and Winter Watering

Who Can Help

  • Newly Planted Trees
  • How to Care for Newly Planted Trees
  • Watering Newly Planted Trees
Keywords: new tree watering, newly planted tree, how much water

About this Author

Since 1995, H.B. Dean has written more than 2,000 articles for publications including “PB&J,” Disney’s “Family Fun,” “ParentLife,” Living With Teenagers,” and Thomas Nelson’s NYTimes Best-selling “Resolve.” After 17 years of homeschooling her five children, Dean discovered that motherhood doesn’t stop with an empty nest.