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  • Writer's pictureRussell Fey

How To Water Your Trees For Optimal Growth

Palm Tree

Your landscape and trees are an important and essential part of your home; they provide beauty and value to your property. As such, caring for your landscape will be an important part of protecting your most valuable asset and biggest investment--your home.

Caring for your trees

Nothing is quite as beautiful as a majestic, healthy tree. Nothing can be quite as damaging and costly to your landscape as a diseased and dying tree; with basic care needs like proper planting, pruning, and watering, there are some things you can do right now to begin to protect the health of your trees.

Basic needs: Watering is essential

When you have periods of consistent rainfall, little additional watering of your trees is needed. Your trees and shrubs will die during periods of drought if they are not fortified, however. Knowing the “when, how, and where” of watering will save you valuable time and money as you proactively care for your trees.

How do trees use water?

Trees use water for the process of “transpiration,” which moves water through their tissues. Water is extracted from the soil by the roots of trees; the water rises against gravitational pull and is used--and eventually evaporated through the leaves and reenters the atmosphere. Despite their “solid” appearance, a tree’s tissues are comprised mainly of water, so providing ample quantities for growth and development will be an essential part of a tree care plan. Trees also use water to:

  • Transport nutrients and minerals throughout tree tissues for growth processes

  • Help defend against pest invasions and infections

  • Help to facilitate the process of photosynthesis

  • Provide form for leaves, stems, buds, and other tree tissues

  • Cool the plant via vapor that is lost during transpiration

As you can see, proper watering of your trees is essential to their proper growth and development.

When should I water?

You might visibly be able to see if a tree is “temporarily wilting” -- this is when a tree’s leaves look droopy during the day, but they seem to “recover” by morning. The best way to monitor if a tree needs watering is by assessing the soil around the root base. Using a spade or hand trowel, dig down 6-9 inches near the base of the tree; if the soil is moist and cool, no additional water is needed. If you uncover dry or compacted dirt and soil, more water is needed to ensure optimal growth.

Establishing an irrigation schedule is a good strategy for ongoing care; factors like seasonal temperatures, sloping terrain, soil characteristics, and precipitation will all affect the schedule that you set up for your landscape and trees. Consider the following when choosing when to water your trees:

  • Soil will remain cooler and moister during the spring and fall seasons

  • Summer temps and heat mandate that more watering takes place

  • Sandy soils will whisk water from tree roots more quickly than dense or clay-like soils

  • Sloped sites will require more watering to ensure that roots can absorb before runoff occurs

  • You will need to regularly monitor your environmental conditions to ensure that you are doing a thorough job of watering

How much should I water?

Just as under-watering will cause a decline in the growth and development of your trees, over-watering can be just as wasteful and harmful as not providing enough. Establishing a watering schedule and monitoring the moisture of your soil’s top layer will give you a good idea of what is needed for your particular types of trees. Tree experts suggest weekly watering of your trees to ensure adequate moisture assimilation and proper growth, although the amount required varies by tree type. If you have questions about the kind of care is needed for the types of trees, speak to a professional arborist for tips and strategies that will help your landscape thrive.

Sarasota Tree Service: Your trusted tree care experts

Sarasota Tree Service is a family-owned company that specializes in all aspects of tree care; from tree trimming, installation, removal to all aspects of landscape design, we have all of your tree and landscape needs covered. If you have questions about how to improve the look and value of your home via your landscape, contact us for a professional quote. Visit for more information.

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