Now that spring is here and trees are budding out, it is important to remember to water newly planted trees throughout the growing season. During the establishment phase (2-3 years), young trees require more water and attention. It is best to water trees in the late afternoon or early morning when evaporation rates are at the lowest point. Newly planted trees require between 5 and 7.5 gallons of water per caliper inch (measure diameter on the trunk six inches above the soil line) each week throughout the entire length of the growing season. Too much water can be harmful for trees, so stay updated on levels of rainfall in your area. It is better to water deeply one time a week than to water a little bit each day. In summer during periods of drought and high temperatures, the tree may require watering the specified amount twice a week.
When trees are transplanted, they can experience “transplant shock.” It is critical to water newly planted trees during the establishment phase to promote root growth, mitigate issues related to heat stress, and promote photosynthesis to maximize growth of foliage.