Tree Watering and Drought

Both trees and water can be saved in this historic drought, while following state water restrictions. Trees need long deep soaks. Healthy tree roots are 3 to 4 feet deep and continue out past the drip line, which is at the edge of the tree canopy. Simulate a long, soaking rain fall with slow watering every 2 to 3 weeks. There should be no run-off with slow watering, but multiple cycles may be needed to allow water to soak deeply and avoid run-off. As the summer months get hotter, the soils dry out and trees need to be deep watered to supply water to the roots. Irrigate in the early morning to reduce evaporation.

  • Young trees need to be watered twice a week in the first year, and once a week in the second and third years. more info
  • Watering too often is surprisingly a common cause of young tree mortality, as the tree roots also need the oxygen in the soil.
  • Residential tree watering, “Save our water and our trees,” best website! from California ReLeaf, CalFire and USDA Forest Service (info, videos and FAQs)
  • Institutional tree watering, “Healthy trees even in drought,