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How to water your tree during a drought

Here are some tips to help you protect your trees
Posted: 5:08 PM, Apr 01, 2022
Updated: 2022-04-01 20:22:49-04
Watering a Tree (FILE)

(KERO) — With drought comes a push for water conservation. But many of us still want our trees to survive the drought. Here are some tips to help you protect your trees.

First, keep in mind the time of day when watering your trees during a drought. One of the primary causes of water loss is evaporation. Instead of watering during the day when the heat is at its peak, water in the morning or evening to allow your tree to fully absorb the water.

Another way you can help retain moisture is by using mulch around the base of your tree. The mulch helps regulate temperature while releasing nutrients into the soil.

Avoid watering the trunk of the tree since it can potentially lead to rot and disease. Also, avoid watering the foliage.

During the drought, water directly with a hose or 5-gallon bucket. You can also install a drip irrigation system.

Of course, it also helps to plant drought-resistant tree species that require less water.

How much should you water? According to the website Save Our Water, it depends on the age, species, and location of your tree.

"A newly planted seedling needs between a pint and quart of water per day while a newly planted ornamental tree, one about 6 to 8 feet tall, needs about 2 to 3 gallons per day. Since young trees are still forming root systems, they need the help of water to establish deeper roots at the base. Mature trees, on the other hand, require deeper and slower watering at the edge of the tree canopy. Keep in mind that trees located near heat traps like driveways or house foundations will require more water."

According to South Dakota State University, "A small windbreak tree, one planted a year or two ago, still needs about 2 or 3 gallons of water a week. A 2-inch diameter tree (measured at 6-inches above the ground) should receive about 20 gallons of water a week during drought periods."