Watering trees

Watering your new tree!

The majority of trees planted do not survive past the first year due to improper watering; both over-watering or under-watering. It's easy to “over-love a tree” by over-watering. We all want our trees to grow quickly, but it is important to give the soil some time to dry out and let the roots stretch out in search of more water. This will give you a healthier and hardier tree.

There is no set schedule for watering.  It's best to check moisture levels before applying any water.  Dig down 2-4 inches just outside of the root mass.  If it feels dry, water.  If it feels moist, don’t water**

First two weeks after planting only, we recommend watering every other day.  If planted in the Summer, you may need to water every day for the first two weeks. After this two week period, reduce watering to one to two times per week. If you receive at least 1” of rainfall in a particular week, skip a watering day.

Depending on the season, trees tend to need more water than expected for the first few months after planting. For instance, you want to water more in the hot summer months than you do in the cooler spring and fall months. The main thing is that you never let the roots completely dry out, and you also don't want them over-saturated or sitting in water.

It is important to water slowly and deeply versus quickly and shallow. You want the water to seep down slowly to the root zone.  You can calibrate your watering using a 1 gallon jug.  Turn your water hose on a slow trickle and time how long it takes to fill up the jug. Using this time, multiply it by how much water you need.  This will give you a good idea of how much water you are actually using.

1 gallon and below (1/4" minus trunk caliper) - 1/2 gallon water

3/5 gallon (less than 1/2” trunk caliper) - 1 gallon of water

15 gallon (1/2"-1" trunk caliper) - 5 gallons of water

30 gallon (1"-2” trunk caliper) - 10 gallons of water

45/65 gallon (2"-3” trunk caliper) - 15 gallons of water

95/100 gallon (3"-4" trunk caliper ) - 20 gallons of water

200/300 gallon (4"+ trunk caliper)- 25 gallons of water

The outside temperature is important as well.

Less than 70 degrees - check soil moisture, water as needed.

70-80 degrees - water 1 time per week

80-90 degrees - water 2 times per week

90-100+ degrees - water 3 times a week


- Do not use any additional fertilizer on newly planted trees, other than Garrett Juice or compost tea.

- Do not use any type of weed killer anywhere near the trees, or better yet, ever.

- Do not let any mulch get any closer than 6” away from the base of the tree. This can smother the tree, as it uses its bark to breathe. It can also lead to root rot since the soil cannot ever properly dry. “Mulch volcanoes” are one of the worst things you can do to a tree.

We recommend soil amendments such as compost, compost tea, Garrett Juice, fish hydrolysate, rock minerals, gluten corn meal, molasses.  These amendments help to build a healthy soil, while feeding the microbes, which is important for tree and plant growth while minimizing water usage.  

Take care of the soil and the soil will take care of the tree.  Healthy trees are also less likely to have any pest problems.

If you feel your tree is sick, please take GOOD, CLEAR, photos of the whole tree, a close up of the root flare (where the trunk meets the ground), and a closeup of the leaves and send them to us (info@texastreefarms.com).

For more information on trees and tree care, call us directly or email.  We are happy to try and help you grow.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.