Maintaining Young Trees.
• For the first year newly planted trees require 4 - 10 gallons of water weekly depending on the weather conditions. If there is little rain during hot weather, trees will need even more water. • A new standard tree should have about 30 litres (6 gallons) a day in the spring and the same during any dry period throughout the summer. If there is a lot of rain, watering can be reduced. If it is hot and sunny, it may have to be increased. Watering regularly for the first year will greatly reduce later problems. • With a little experience it is easy to tell whether or not a tree needs water. Tree maintenance • Leaves vary between species but generally a healthy tree will have a full crown of large, firm, green leaves.
• Symptoms of drought include unusually small leaves; few leaves; yellow or brown leaves (right); drooping or brittle leaves; blistered or cracking bark. Ultimately a tree suffering from drought will shed all its leaves to save water. • Ideally a new tree should be watered before it shows any signs of drought. The longer it is left, the harder it is to repair the damage. • Water at regular intervals if you can (subject to rainfall). Once every week is better than two days running then nothing for two months. However, any water is always better than nothing. • 20–30 litres (4–6 gallons) per visit is ideal for healthy new trees (50+ litres may be necessary if it is struggling.) • Some trees have a root drencher; a plastic box fixed between the stake and the tree. This has a hole at the top and can quickly be filled with 20 litres (4 gallons) of water. Soil in the base of the box allows the water to seep gradually down to the tree’s roots.
• If there is no root drencher, water directly at the base of the tree. This ensures the water reaches the roots. If the ground is very dry, you may have to water very slowly to stop it running off. Once the soil is damp, the water will penetrate better. Mulch helps contain water close to the tree. • Watering early or late in the day reduces water lost by evaporation.