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How to Water Redwood Trees

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The thought of redwoods conjures images of trees reaching for the stars, big enough for carving tunnels for cars to drive through. These giant redwoods take hundreds of years to grow this big, and only under ideal circumstances like those in the Californian redwood forests. The redwood tree in your landscape though, depending on the variety, will probably only reach about 65 feet tall, or slightly more, growing about 3 feet per season. Regardless of the fact that you probably won’t grow a giant redwood, your smaller version still needs proper watering to grow well.

Water a newly planted redwood tree on a regular and frequent schedule that first growing season to keep the soil slightly moist. Drill a few holes in a 5-gallon bucket and set it next to your tree. Then, the first season, fill the bucket with water and it will slowly emit a measured amount of water, much like a drip irrigation system. Watering the tree about once a week, or once every four or five days in hot weather, usually suffices.

Plan to water established redwoods once or twice a month after that first year. Water it under the entire canopy -- the main feeder roots have probably spread this far by now. A soaker hose placed strategically around and under the tree works well.

Turn the soaker hose on so it slowly drips out, and leave it there for 30 minutes. Then, insert a metal rod to see how far it goes before it’s too hard to push. This point is likely how far the water has reached. Try it in several areas to be sure you are not hitting something such as a thick root or rock. You can also use a long moisture meter that measures the moisture in the soil.

Turn the hose on for longer if necessary. After a few waterings, you’ll have a good idea how long and at what pressure to leave the hose on to penetrate the soil 12 inches deep under your redwood tree.

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