Summertime Watering Tips for Trees
Summer is well and truly here, so it’s a good time to think about a summer watering programme for your trees. Studies have shown that for every 18-degree increase in temperature the amount of water lost by a tree and the area around it almost doubles, so your trees might need some extra help to stay in top condition during the warmer months. If you haven’t already, check out the Water Corporation’s easy to use website to be certain of your watering days and exactly what kind of supplemental watering is allowed during the summer months: https://www.watercorporation.com.au/save-water/watering-days
In addition to this, here are a few tips about watering your trees in the most efficient and effective way.
- As the Water Corp suggests, the best time to water is during the evening (after 6 pm) or early morning (before 9 am). This is because the sun is low and less water is lost to evaporation, allowing it to better reach the root systems of your trees.
- Check the weather report. As we’ve recently experienced, summer in Perth still gets its share of rain and storms. Turn your sprinklers off to conserve water on wet days. Conversely, when the mercury rises or during periods of extended drought your trees will likely need some extra attention.
- How old are your trees? It may seem pretty obvious but you need to water newly planted trees immediately and then provide more regular, deep watering for at least the first two years. Young trees have small root networks and so aren’t able to hold as much water as older, more established trees.
- More advanced trees generally require weekly or fortnightly watering. However, this can vary from species to species and is also dependent on climate and soil conditions, so it’s a good idea to identify the trees in your garden and do a bit of research on how best to water them. If you’re unsure of the tree type, there are a number of free smartphone apps available to help with identification. Strange though it may seem, you CAN overwater trees, which results in a number of health problems, including root rot and fungus, so a bit of research can save you in the long-term.
- If you are uncertain whether your trees are receiving the correct amount of water a soil test is an easy solution. Being careful not to damage any tree roots, use a trowel to dig down about 5 cm into the soil under the canopy of the tree. Ideally, it should be moist, not dry or soggy. Another technique is to push a screwdriver or similar around 15 or 20 cm into the ground. If it sinks in easily then the area surrounding the tree has been sufficiently watered and you can move on to the next tree.
- Plants within the canopy or shade line of a tree compete with the tree for water and draw water away from its root systems. If a tree seems to be struggling this may be a contributing factor.
- What kind of reticulation do you use? Be aware that windy nights can result in the water spray from spray head sprinklers being distributed to the wrong areas of your garden. A soaker or drip irrigation hose is generally best suited for watering trees, as it provides a slow directed flow of water that comprehensively soaks the earth around the tree. However, a garden hose can work well for supplemental watering provided you move it periodically and don’t forget about it and leave it running!
- Finally, as discussed in an earlier blog post, mulch can also help reduce evaporation and maintain moisture around your tree base.
Give our friendly team a call on 9249 4077 to discuss your tree and garden requirements.