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** Improper watering practices are the leading cause of plant loss in the landscape. It’s important to know what each plant needs and the signs that it will give to let you know whether those needs are being met. **

Other Resources:

Watering you Trees - PDF Print Out

University of Florida - Irrigating Landscape Plants During Establishment

We do not recommend installing landscape on houses without water hooked up and working at the time of the install, however we understand that sometimes there is no choice. With out water to the house you risk the landscape dying. It only takes 2 days of no water to kill a tree. Below you will find our suggested watering guidelines. 

Watering Guidelines
Water requirements are based on:

  • Site Soil Conditions
  • Weather Conditions
  • Size of Tree

The following are per day tree watering guidelines for the dry periods. Each application will differ depending on periods. Each application will differ depending on A, B or C from above.

Container Size             Gallons Per Day
30 Gallon                      8 - 15 Gallons
45 Gallon                     12 - 18 Gallons
65 Gallon                     15 - 20 Gallons
100 Gallon                    20 - 25 Gallons

Recommended Watering Schedule after initial installation:
1 - 30 Days                Daily
30 - 60 Days               2 - 3 Times A Week
After 60 days              1 Time A Week

Watering is perhaps the most important factor in new tree establishment.  Once planted, a tree needs the right amount of water to establish its roots and begin a long and healthy life.  Too little water and the tree will wilt and die, but too much water can drown the roots and kill the tree just as easily.  Watering is also dependent upon the season and the amount of rain.  A good watering plan accounts for both the time of year, and the amount of rainfall.  The most important thing to remember when watering your tree is that regardless of what method you use to bring water to the tree, watering should be deep, slow and often to ensure that the entire root zone of the tree has been saturated.  A fresh bed of mulch (no more than 2 inches deep) is also valuable for helping the soil hold more water and replenishing the nutrients in the soil.

The best watering system for a newly planted tree is soaker or drip hose.  This should be placed in concentric circles around the root zone of the tree.  Be careful not to place the soaker hose too close to the trunk, you want the ROOTS to get water NOT the trunk.  If the trunk of the tree is constantly wet, disease, fungus and other harmful pathogens can get into the trunk of the tree.  The duration of watering depends primarily upon the season.

Spring:  This is the main growing season for the tree and thus you want to supply the tree with ample water.  A tree needs about an inch of rain per week during this season.  This equates to about 10-15 minutes of watering (depending on the pressure of your system) every OTHER day.  However, no watering should take place on a rain day or the day after a rain day.

Summer:  During the hot and dry summers the tree needs lots of water just to survive.  Two inches of water per week is recommended during the summer months.  Watering should take place every day for approximately 15-20 minutes, depending on the pressure in your system.  Of course, if it rains that day, no watering is necessary.  It is best to water in the evening or early morning when the sun isn’t up.  This cuts down on evaporation due to the high temperatures and helps you get more out of each watering.

Fall and Winter:  During the dormant season when the leaves are off the trees, your newly planted tree needs much less water.  Only 5-10 minutes of watering a few times a week when the temperature is over 40 degrees.  If the temperature is less than 40 degrees no watering is necessary.

If you have an irrigation system already installed in your yard, you should check it every season to make sure it is properly calibrated and delivering the correct amount of water for that particular season.  The system should also be adjusted as much as possible to cut down on the amount of water hitting the trunk of the tree.  Rain sensors are also extremely valuable to make sure that you are not watering during rain days.

A good watering program will help your newly planted tree to establish its roots and begin a long life.  Few investments last as long as a tree, but if it is not properly planted and maintained, that tree will die.  Your watering program is essential to the establishment of your tree, remember, no tree will survive with the proper amount of water.