Wisconsin’s summer heat can be demanding on trees. Without adequate rainfall, trees won’t get the proper amount of water needed to promote healthy growth. Watering your newly planted trees by hand may be required if long seasons of drought take place. But how do you know when it’s time to water your trees? Fortunately, there are some signs you can look for to determine whether you should give your trees some water.
Curling or Wilted Leaves
Inspect the leaves on your trees. If you notice any wilting, curling, or turning brown near the tips and edges, chances are your tree is in need of additional water.
Color and Size
Trees that are in need of water tend to have large groups of off-colored and/or undersized leaves. Some signs a tree needs water is to keep your eyes out for include leaf scorch (similar to sun burn) and yellowing leaves.
In the fall season, leaves change colors and eventually drop in preparation for the winter season. Not watering your trees enough can result in this happening prematurely. If you notice your leaves changing color and traveling to the ground early, consider watering your tree.
Screw Driver Soil Test
There are a couple tests that can be done utilizing the soil to see if your tree is getting enough water. Stick a thinner, durable object (like a screw driver) into the soil beneath your tree about two to three inches. If it’s difficult to do, then that’s a good indication that your trees need more water.
Handful Soil Test
Another way to use the soil to determine whether your newly planted tree needs water or not is to hold some in your hand. After digging 5-7 inches beneath your tree, grab a handful of soil and pay attention to the condition of it. A properly-watered tree should have cool, moist soil. If the soil isn’t sandy or drenched, try to roll it into a ball. Your tree will need more water if it crumbles. If the soil is sopping wet, your tree might be getting too much water.
How to Water Your Trees
Newly planted trees require watering the first several months after planting. Their roots take a little bit of time to grow into the soil. Even moisture within the correct radius of the trunk promotes proper root growth. As time goes on, you can expand that radius to ensure all the roots are receiving the proper water. Watering trees that have been established requires a deep, soaking irrigation to the entire area underneath the tree canopy, extending several feet passed the drip line. However, make sure not to apply water to the area directly around the trunk as it can lead to rotting.
Plant Health Care with Wachtel Tree Science
It’s important to notice the signs that your trees need water early on, otherwise additional problems can arise. If you’re unsure of whether or not your trees are experiencing a lack of water or too much water, we can help! Our certified arborists have a passion for tree health and can assist in keeping your trees strong. Get started with our tree health care services or contact us today!