How to Water Your Mature Trees

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—and especially during a drought—trees need some special care.

Here’s how to water your mature 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.

Remember to check soil moisture again next month and water if needed!