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Under-watering and over-watering

Applying the proper amount of water is important to tree and shrub health.

  • Under-watering causes a decline in the growth and health of trees and shrubs.
  • Over-watering is wasteful and can be just as harmful to tree and shrub health as under-watering, particularly in clay and compacted soils.
    • Pore spaces between soil particles are shared by water and oxygen.
    • Over-watering causes pore spaces normally occupied by oxygen to become filled with water.
    • It may cause root suffocation and a decline in tree or shrub health.

Watering plan

A watering routine that provides the correct amount of water to trees and shrubs is unique to every landscape.

To determine the best watering plan for your landscape:

  • Choose a time when the top 6 to 9 inches of soil are dry and there is no rain predicted for several days.
  • Set several shallow containers (pie tins, cake pans, shallow cans, etc.) across the area to be watered. These will serve as a reservoir that can be used to measure one inch of water.
  • Use a sprinkler to water the area until there is an average of one inch of water in each container.
  • Record how long it took to gather this amount of water.
  • Wait two hours and then slice into the soil with a sharp spade or shovel. Create a big enough opening to reach in with your hand and feel the soil 6 to 9 inches below the ground. If the soil is cool and moist at this depth, the irrigation is appropriate.
  • If you need to apply more water, add another half-inch and check again to see if the top 6 to 9 inches of soil are moist.
  • Continue this process until the top 6 to 9 inches of soil have received water.
  • Record the total irrigation time for future reference. Water for this length of time whenever you water.
  • Over the next several days, check the moisture level of your soil 6 to 9 inches below the surface of the ground every other day.
  • If the moisture level is still adequate, the soil will feel cool and damp.
  • Refill the hole and repeat this step every other day until the soil feels dry.
  • Record the number of days it took for the top 6 to 9 inches of soil to dry. This provides you with the number of days between watering in the absence of rain.

Original Blog Source:  Watering established trees and shrubs | UMN Extension

Gerrein Green is a NKY Tree Care company founded by Tony Gerrein. The company specializes in Tree Removal, Pruning and Stump Grinding. Dependability, extreme attention to detail are cornerstones of Tony’s Gerrein Green.  See more here:  https://gerreingreen.com/