How to Water Your Trees in Times of Drought
Here in Northern California, we know that water is a precious resource when it comes to our lives, our trees, and our abundant wildlife. With our longstanding drought, it’s important to conserve our water as much as possible. But we also need to be aware of how our drought conditions affect our trees and shrubbery and make sure they are getting enough water to sustain them.
Wise watering practices can help us sustain our beautiful trees which in turn sustain us and the planet. If we practice smart watering and tree care in San Jose and throughout Northern California, our beautiful trees will be here to delight future generations the way they continue to delight us.
Match the Watering to the Tree
The most critical times for water and proper tree care for our deciduous trees are winter and early spring when buds and leaves begin to show on branches. With our mature trees, consider the environment and where they are placed. Trees that grow in areas where more heat is trapped such as pavement or foundations will require more water. This is also true for trees that are more exposed to hot afternoon sun or high winds.
Young Vs. Mature Trees
Young trees require more water until they have become firmly established and their roots have taken hold. For young trees, this should be about 5 gallons twice a week directly with a hose or bucket. Mature trees only need about half of this.
Don’t Waste the Water
Make sure the water is soaking into the ground and not running off. A good way to hold moisture in around the base of a tree is with mulch. This will also lower the temperature around the tree.
Time and Place
When watering, water inside the drip zone. This is the area underneath the foliage of the tree in the shade areas. Apply water in the early morning or after sunset as this is when your trees replace the water they have lost. These reduce evaporation of the water.
Remember to conserve water whenever possible. Here in California, water conservation should be a way of life. But we can become lazy and complacent and forget how integral water is to our lives and the lives of the nature that surrounds us. One way we can do this is to change our irrigation systems to drip, low-flow, or micro spray systems and always make sure they are maintained to ensure there are no leaks.
When you are considering new plantings, you may want to consider native or drought-resistant plants and trees. You may also want to consider natural landscapes over lawns as these offer natural drought resistance and require less water to thrive.
Ask an Expert
Your trees are a lifetime’s investment, not only for your own family but for future generations. If you have any questions about your trees and their health, call our San Jose arborists at Bay Area Tree Specialists.