We at Be Water Smart love our trees. They offer shade and protection for people and wildlife, cleaner air and cooler temperatures, and are a special gift from one generation to the next. And, during the hot summer months, trees need some special care.
We’ve partnered with our friends at the Sacramento Tree Foundation to provide some tips for efficiently watering your mature trees when the weather is dry. Check out the steps and video below, and be sure to visit sactree.com to learn even more about caring for trees!
Step 1: Use a meter or screwdriver to check soil moisture all around the canopy (the drip line). If the meter reads “dry” or soil at the bottom of the hole is dry and crumbly, your tree needs water.
Step 2: Set up a soaker hose under the canopy. You can also use drip irrigation, portable sprinkler with timer or hand water.
Step 3: Set the hose to water at a low setting for one hour, soaking the soil 6 inches deep. But, watch for runoff! If you’re using a hose that doesn’t get all around the tree, move the hose around until you’ve covered the different areas around the drip line.
Step 4: Check again with a moisture meter or screwdriver a few days later. If the soil is moist, great! If not, extend the length of time that you water at each location around the tree.
Step 5: Add 6 inches of mulch in a circle around tree, shaped like a donut, to reduce evaporation. Remember to keep the mulch away 6 inches from the trunk.
Learn more about caring for your trees:
Sacramento Tree Foundation
Learn more about helping your trees survive a drought:
- Tips for Tree Care During Drought
- Helpful infographic from the California Urban Forests Council
- Learn you can help your trees survive a drought in this brief video featuring sustainable landscape expert Cheryl Buckwalter.