In hot summer temperatures, newly planted trees and shrubs require special watering to thrive and survive. Overhead sprinklers and drip irrigation don’t penetrate the soil more than a few inches. This is not enough to thoroughly soak the entire root system of the plant. These newly planted trees and shrubs need time to create feeder roots that will eventually search for water. Overhead sprinklers are ideal for watering lawns, turf, annuals and established perennials but not trees and shrubs.
To properly water you will need to provide a deep soaking by hand. Place the hose directly on top of the soil about 6″ from the trunk and turn your hose on just enough to create a slow, steady stream of water. Depending on the size of the plant, watering will likely take at least 15 minutes. This should be repeated every 3 days. When we receive a long, steady rain of one or more inches over the course of several hours you could skip one watering only. If your newly planted tree or shrub is in an area where the hose does not reach, or you’d like an easy, automatic solution, ask our staff about self watering bags!
Additionally, plants benefit from creating a berm around the base, the width of the root ball. This prevents run off on the surface of the soil and ensures more water reaches the roots of the plant. Mulching also greatly improves moisture retention. Mulch should be spread 2-3 inches deep around the base of the plant, leaving 3″ of space clear directly around the trunk to prevent disease and pest problems.