Ways You are Loving Your Trees to Death – Watering

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It’s hard to imagine that as society becomes more aware and proactive about saving our environment, we could be damaging the trees that we are working so hard to save. With the influx of information that we have it can be difficult to determine where we can help. One of the easiest ways to get involved is to properly maintain what you already have.

In this series, we are going to cover several areas where people think that they are improving/helping their trees but may be doing more harm than good. These areas are mulching, watering, tree supports, and pruning.

We will have an in depth look at these common practices and discover whether they are beneficial and what we should be doing.

Watering – The Enemy Hides in Plain Site

An adult should drink approximately 2 litres of water a day, the earth is about 70% water, and 66 percent of the human body is water. But, how much water should your trees and plants have? In an article in SF gate Athena Hessong says we “know that plants need water to survive and thrive, but overwatering can kill plants just as effectively as under watering. Knowing why too much water harms plants can make you more aware of the individual drainage and watering requirements for all the plants in your yard.”

Water is vital to a trees success and is often the trickiest thing for a property owner to know if they are doing properly. Even professionals can find it difficult to determine whether your plants are drowning or if they have sufficient water. Because of the increased use of irrigation systems there is a tendency to add water to our landscapes without thinking about the consequences to our plants. Trees need to be treated separately from our lawns and gardens. Their root systems are much larger than the rest of the landscape which is why they are often overwatered. Having a healthy tree can provide many benefits and it’s important to recognize whether your tree is overwatered or under watered.

The Good

Proper Watering

  • Healthy trees provide increased home value
  • Healthy trees reduce cooling cost during the summer
  • Healthy trees cost less to maintain
  • Proper water may be less water, and less money

The Bad

Over Watering

  • The ground is constantly saturated and does not draining
  • Causes the lower Canopy withers before the leaves are full grown the
  • Undersized or discoloured canopy
  • Leaves may be green but will break apart easily
  • Fungus growing around the base of the tree
  • Saturated soil can remove pore space from the soil
  • Overwatering may lead to root rot

Under Watering

  • Early leaf drop
  • Curled or wilted leaves
  • Dry and dusty ground
  • Usually the tree grows slower

Our Truth

The amount of water we are providing our trees is undervalued by many, but it should be one of the top priorities for anyone who is looking to keep their trees healthy. Trees are expensive to replace, and it is scary to think that watering may be costing you thousands of dollars. Instead of trusting the sprinkler system or Mother Nature to take care of the watering needs you should be proactive.

The most effective way to water your trees is to use a drip system; this will allow water to slowly drip into the soil and prevent over saturation. Just because a drip line is the best way, remember, there are other ways to make sure that trees receive the proper amount of water. It is important not to get too worried about how we are watering and focus on, how much, what time, and consistency. This may all seem pretty daunting, but if you take the time to educate yourself and do it properly the prize is well worth the work.

It is amazing to see how much awareness and effort is being put into planting and maintaining trees. It is just a shame to think that all the hard work may not yield the proper results. Be sure to consult an arborist when planning the tree work around your property. UTS tree care employs professional and educated arborists who want to care for your trees and inform you of their specific needs.

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