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How Much & How Often to Water Newly Planted Trees? Reasons, Growth, & Planting

tree planting

Planting a new tree in your yard is a big step. Not only are you taking steps toward the design of your landscape but you’re also taking on the care of a newly planted tree that is dependent on you to survive the harsh weather climates mother nature throws at it. To ensure your new tree is well taken care of, you should learn how to properly care for it quickly. This includes learning how much and how often you should water it.

The watering requirements for a new tree change as the tree grows. By the time it is 12 weeks old, you should be watering once a week and ensuring you’re using enough water to thoroughly saturate the ground and root ball. Let’s learn more about the requirements of a growing tree so you can follow proper guidelines and help your new tree grow healthy and strong.

trees & plants divider

During the Initial Planting

Planting a new tree is hard on it. Often, trees die due to lack of water during this process while others die thanks to too much water at this young stage. You may wonder why young plants have such an issue with water. The answer is simple. A young tree’s roots have been cut back, whether a little or a lot. Since they get water through their roots, it’s important to ensure they get proper amounts during this crucial growing period until they are established.

Knowing how much to water a tree while planting is crucial to its longevity and health. You will want to water the tree roots thoroughly before planting, then again as you plant, and the day afterward. During this initial planting period, you will use the container your tree came in to help you determine the amount of water to use. You’ll want ¼ to 1/3 of the container for each of these waterings to ensure the tree gets enough but isn’t overwatered.

planting tree
Image Credit: Lee Charlie, Shutterstock

As Your Tree Grows

Following the correct watering schedule after planting your new tree is important. Your tree will depend on you for most of its needs during the time it takes for its roots to become established. Root establishment is different for every tree and is determined by the type and size. For the first 2 weeks after planting your tree, watering every day is necessary. When your tree reaches 3 weeks of age, the watering process slows slightly. From 3 weeks to 12 weeks of age, water your tree every 2 to 3 days. After the 12-week mark, you should water your tree once a week until the roots have had time to fully establish.

Take a look at this chart that shows you how much water to give your tree and how long it may take for your tree to become established.

Tree Trunk Caliper Estimated Establishment Time Gallons of Water for Watering
1 inch 1.5 years 1 – 1.5 gallons
2 inch 3 years 2 – 3 gallons
3 inch 4.5 years 3 – 4.5 gallons
4 inch 6 years 4 – 6 gallons
5 inch 7.5 years 5 – 7.5 gallons
6 inch 9 years 6 – 9 gallons

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In Conclusion

Knowing how much water for your new tree and how often is the perfect way to help your tree become an established part of your landscape. Following the recommended watering schedule above can help your tree stay healthy and grow up to be strong and beautiful.

Featured Image Credit: Dmytro Zinkevych, Shutterstock

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