April 2016: Hot Weather Tips For Trees – Part 3

This year could be a warm one for the Tri-Cities. Taking care of your trees and making sure they have enough water will be critical in their health and survival. We have put together a series of tips and “must dos” for your home’s trees.

Know When to Water
The quickest way to check soil moisture is to take a long (6”-plus) screwdriver and poke it into the soil. It will pass easily into moist soil, but be difficult to push into dry soil. If you can’t poke it in at least 6″, it’s time to water. This technique works best in clay and loam soils.

How to Apply Water
Overhead sprinklers are the easiest way to cover large expanses, but they’re inefficient, losing up to half the water to evaporation. Trees are better served by watering methods that apply water slowly, right at soil level. It may take several hours to properly water a single mature tree.

Soaker Hose
A soaker hose, such as the one in our Snip-n-Drip Soaker System, applies water slowly so it soaks in rather than running off.

Soaker hoses are an efficient way to water trees because they’re porous and release water slowly. Encircle a tree with a spiral of soaker hose and run it for an hour or more — as long as it takes for water to penetrate 6″ or 8″, using the screwdriver test.

Pro Tip #3
Not enough water is harmful for the tree but too much water is bad as well. Overwatering is a common mistake. Please note that moist is different than soggy, and you can judge this by feel. A damp soil that dries for a short period will allow adequate oxygen to permeate the soil.

As a rule of thumb your soil should be moist. Usually 30 seconds with a steady stream of water from a garden hose w/ a diffuser nozzle per tree seedling is sufficient. Mulching is also key in retaining moisture in the soil.

You can check soil moisture by using a garden trowel and inserting it into the ground to a depth of 2″, and then move the blade of the trowel back and forth to create a small narrow trench. Then use your finger to touch the soil. If it is most to the touch, then they do not need water.

When You Need Help
We want to be your “go to” resource for taking care of your trees. Whether it’s giving the best tree maintenance advice possible to take care of them or if you need the best company in Pasco for tree removal, we are here for you. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

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