Plantings Trees in Summer


Bold Spring Nursery sent out a very timely information sheet that I would like to share with all of you.
" Amount per application:
Site conditions, soil types, drainage provisions and weather are all are important variables that must be considered when tailoring a watering program but for a general guideline on a well-drained site, try 5-10 gallons of water for every 1" of caliper each application:
2" caliper tree = 10-20 gallons/application
3" caliper tree = 15-30 gallons/application
4" caliper tree = 20-40 gallons/application
6" caliper tree = 30-60 gallons/application

- Rate:
Watering trees is different from watering grass. Water should be applied slowly and in sufficient quantity to reach the deep root system throughout a zone 24 inches deep or more. Installation of a drip system or spot-spitters, or use of Gator-Bags or Water-Rings are all viable methods of applying water properly.

- Establishment Period:
Establishment time is at least 6 months per every inch caliper of tree:
2" caliper tree = 12 months of monitoring and supplemental watering
3" caliper tree = 18 months of monitoring and supplemental watering
4" caliper tree = 24 months of monitoring and supplemental watering
6" caliper tree = 36 months of monitoring and supplemental watering

The first 6-8 weeks after planting are the most intensive. (Or the first 6-8 weeks of the growing season- after winter-planting). After that, watering frequency can be gradually reduced according to conditions.
The second year the trees will have roots out in the surrounding soil and will be less dependent on supplemental water. However, it is important to continue a watering program. Research has shown that the duration of watering should increase depending on the size of the tree when planted. Larger trees should be monitored and watered, at least occasionally, for a longer period of time after planting. Remember the establishment period is at least 6 months of supplemental watering per every inch of caliper at the time of planting. Use common sense. If there is a drought during the 2nd season after planting then even small trees might be at risk of succumbing to stress.

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2 of 10 comments
  • Nancy Rhodes C
    on Jul 21, 2012

    You told us to water but how often to water a new tree. Thanks for all this information. Guess I will have to wait a year to see if my trees will live.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Jul 21, 2012

    That depends on where you are and your soil conditions, Nancy. Here in Florida, where soil tends to be sandy, we recommend watering trees every day for the first two weeks, then three times a week for the next two. The key is to keep the soil moist, not wet. Time accordingly.

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