Care and watering for newly installed plants:
How Often to Water
Newly installed plants require more frequent watering than established ones. They should be watered at planting time and at these intervals:
- 1-2 weeks after planting, water daily.
- 3-12 weeks after planting, water every 2 to 3 days.
- After 12 weeks, water weekly until roots are established.
*These times and intervals can vary depending on your soil type and climate.
For trees, its size will determine how long until the roots are established. Measuring the caliper (the diameter) of the trunk 6-12’’ from the base will help determine this.
- 1’’, 1.5-2 years
- 2’’, 3-4 years
- 3’’, 5-6 years
For shrubs & perennials, the size of its pot will help determine this.
- 1-3 gallons, 1 year
- 5 gallons and up, 1.5-3 years
How Much to Water
For trees, its size will dictate how much water you should apply at each interval. Measuring the caliper (the diameter) of the trunk 6-12’’ from the base will help determine this.
- 1’’ – 2 gallons
- 2’’ – 3 gallons
- 3’’ – 5 gallons
For containerized trees, shrubs and perennials, this can determine this by applying 1/3 the volume of water the container the plant came in. For example, a tree that came in a 15 gallon container would require 5 gallons.
*These amounts can vary depending on your soil type, climate, and placement in the landscape. Increase this amount if rocks are at the base of the tree.
How to Water
Sprinklers are designed to water turf grass, not trees. Driplines, bubblers, soakers, and direct watering with a hose or bucket are the best methods. Slow, soaking of water directly near the root system is ideal.
After the first frost date, your plants will not need as much water. The soil though will need water to keep the soil insulated, protecting the roots from freezing temperatures. Water once a month to keep the soil moist and insulated during snowless winters. Winter watering can help prevent winter kill, sun scald, and trunk cracking.
Maximizing Water Uptake
Eliminate any turf or weeds at the base of your plant out several feet. Unwanted plants, especially turf, in their root zone will compete for water and nutrients.
Apply a 3’’ layer of organic mulch (wood chips, bark, etc.) around the soil surrounding the plants, leaving the trunk bare. This will prevent water from evaporating from the soil and prevent fluctuations in soil temperature. Rocks can heat the soil causing water loss to evaporation and unwanted warming of soil. Mulch will help prevent excessive water loss, sun scald, and truck cracking. If rock is desired, it’s highly recommended to apply after the plants are established.