How often should I water my trees?
In every nursery, this question is spoken again, each time a new tree is purchased. I used to utter the same words.
“How often do I water this tree? Every day? Every week?”
The answer to this question is incredibly simple and will help you know, without a doubt, how often to water your trees. It doesn’t matter if you purchased a peach, apple, apricot, pear, almond, pecan, mulberry, cherry, avocado, banana, or mango tree. It doesn’t matter if you live in a humid climate or are living smack dab in the middle of the desert (like me).
The answer includes developing a skill at knowing when a tree needs water, because trees don’t follow a schedule.
Trees don’t care if it’s been 3 days or 2 weeks since you watered. All they know is that they either need water today or they don’t. And your job as a gardener is to recognize when they need water. You see, there are just too many variations in the weather & the soil in your yard for anybody to give you a direct answer.
Follow this One Tip & Know How often to Water ANY Tree
The tip is to look at the leaves to determine if the tree needs water.
If the leaves are drooping, it needs water. If they are sturdy and erect, they don’t. It really is THAT simple. Let me show you an example…
This is a tree that NEEDS water.
Notice how the leaves are drooping? It just looks sad, doesn’t it? To an untrained eye, this tree might look okay. It’s nice and green, isn’t it? But actually, the drooping leaves gives it away. This tree needs a good watering.
This is when the tree DOESN’T need water.
Notice the difference? See how the leaves are pointing straight out? This dude is happy. He’s got plenty of water all the way into the leaves.
How to water a tree
- DEEP WATERING – Most trees thrive on a low & slow watering. We have a timer like this one and set it for an hour on a very low stream.
- CHEMICAL-FREE WATERING – Even if you’re not trying to grow organic, it’s a good idea to get a filter for your hose. Filters like these filter out harmful additives like chlorine (remember, your tree is only as healthy as the soil around it, and the soil can’t thrive as well in chlorinated water) and mineral buildup like calcium.
- MULCH. ALWAYS. – Adding a deep layer (about 6 inches) of REAL wood chips around the base of your tree can do two things — keep in moisture and create a good environment for microbial growth. The wood chips will slowly break down feeding the tree with nutrients.
- NUTRIENT BOOSTING – Once a month we fertilize all our trees with this seaweed/kelp/fish concentrate. We mix 1 ounce with 1 gallon of water and pour that gallon around to each tree. We set an alarm in our calendar so we never forget. This not only gives the young trees instantly-available nutrients, it also feeds the microbes in the soil, helping the long-term health of the tree.
How long does a tree typically go in-between watering?
It really depends on your soil and the weather, but I can definitely tell you that a young tree will probably need to be watered anywhere from every few days to every week. This bit of info might be helpful for when you’re vacationing. If we vacation in the summer, we ask our pet-sitter to just take a look at the trees and water anything that’s drooping.
That’s it, now you’re a bon-e-fide tree watering expert 😉
Do you use a filter for salt in the water? I know trees like avocados are very salt-sensitive, and desert water is packed with the stuff!
I have a lemon tree , about 3 feet never has giving us a lemon lol this year I see lots of flowers im i going to get lemons ? Also when can I transfer A flower tree to a bigger pot , old pot has broken . Thanks
Kendall Ryder says
I wouldn’t have thought to add mulch near the base of my tree. That is good to know so that I make sure my tree stays moisturized. Hopefully that can help it in looking good all the time, and staying as healthy as it needs to be.
Robyn D says
Thanks for this, Danelle. I have several established trees that I don’t worry about, but recently got a baby orange tree. I desperately want to keep it alive, and add a couple more baby trees in the coming year. Really helps to have a watering guideline.
DaNelle Wolford says
Great! Also know that for the first year of citrus trees, you don’t fertilize. They need to establish themselves first and will look rather pathetic for the first year, but then they’ll spruce up and be gorgeous!