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Minnesota tree FAQ

Tree watering guide

The impact of drought can have severe and long lasting effects on trees.

This problem can lead to secondary disease and insect problems years after the initial drought, which can then lead to the decline or death of your trees.

The best way to avoid these problems is with regular watering of your trees. This will minimize drought stress.

A general rule of thumb is to water a tree one time per week for 1-2 hours with a lawn sprinkler during summer if we do not receive 1” of rain that week. Another rule is to water 5 minutes per 1 inch of trunk diameter. For example, a tree with a 5 inch diameter trunk can be watered for 25 minutes.

Mulching the area underneath the leaf canopy of trees also helps conserve water by retaining soil moisture.

Over watering also causes problems, here are a few tips to avoid over watering.

  • For trees planted in heavy clay soil watering once per week during drought should suffice.
  • Trees planted in light sandy soils can be watered twice per week.

One sure way to know if your tree needs water is to dig down a few inches, if the soil is dry you can water but if it feels moist you can check again in another couple of days.

Many of our customers water their lawns with irrigation systems and while that may help trees somewhat, the amount of watering is too short to be of great benefit.

Because a lawn can easily be replaced but a 50 year old tree cannot we encourage homeowners to give priority to water trees.

Magnolia tree lacking water

Magnolia tree lacking water

Shadywood Tree Experts - tree watering zone
Maple tree showing signs of stress from lack of water

Maple tree showing signs of stress from lack of water

Tree lacking water

Tree lacking water

Kelli Harmon