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How to Water Trees With Buckets

Trees, especially newly planted ones, need proper watering to ensure survival and vigor. Young trees are very susceptible to damage from lack of water due to their lack of an extensive root system. Trees that receive too little water will become stunted and eventually die. Trees obtain their water through their roots so this is where you need to apply the water. Bark and leaves do not transport water to the tree and watering these may actually cause harm. Since trees need ten gallons of water for each trunk diameter, a good watering method is to use a 5-gallon bucket to water the root zone.

Drill 1/4-inch holes in the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket. Space the holes a few inches apart across the entire bottom of the bucket.

Measure the diameter of the tree trunk to determine how many buckets of water you need for the tree.

Place the bucket over the root zone under the tree you are watering.

Fill the bucket to the top with water and allow the water to slowly seep through the holes into the soil.

Move the bucket and fill again. Allow the water to seep into the ground. Keep repeating until the required amount of water is dispensed into the root zone of the tree.


Try to evenly space the watering so that the entire root zone receives water. For example if you are using four buckets of water for the tree, place each bucket the same distance from the trunk in different directions.

Water your tree whenever the soil below the mulch layer feels dry. If it feels moist, wait a few more days before checking again.

The best time to water your trees are between 10 pm and 8 am. Less evaporation during these hours will allow the tree to absorb more water.

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