Timing of irrigation
Morning watering. Irrigating in the early morning limits evaporative water loss. Irrigating early in the morning before sunrise, instead of late in the evening, is also considered best for reducing the risk of disease since plants will dry off during the day and not remain wet and surrounded by high humidity all night long.
Watering evergreens. We usually think of watering in summer, but lack of water in winter can be destructive to evergreen trees and shrubs since they do not lose their leaves in the fall like deciduous trees. Evergreens will continue to lose moisture from their needles or leaves (on broadleaf evergreens) all winter long, especially on the sunny southern side and windward side of the landscape. Consequently, watering late into the fall will benefit evergreens. Taking the time to water during a January thaw may also help reduce the foliage drying that often shows up in spring.
Frequency of watering. Tree selection and size will determine the frequency of irrigations. For example, for the first 3 years after planting, new trees (even water-thrifty ones) will need to be irrigated weekly to encourage the development of healthy root systems, while an established tree may thrive with a deep irrigation every other week. In addition, a high or moderate water-use tree with a 2-inch diameter trunk may need an application of water every 2 weeks, while a low water-use or xeric tree with the same trunk diameter may need an application only once a month.
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