January 2019: Spring Checklist: Part 3 Watering and Mulch

Watering Your Trees

New trees need to be watered at the time of planting. In addition, during their first season, they should be watered a minimum of one week in the absence of rain and often during the height of the summer. However, care should be taken not to overwater as this may result in oxygen deprivation.

If you are uncertain as to whether a tree needs watering, dig down 6-8 inches at the edge of the planting hole. If the soil at that depth feels powdery or crumbly, the tree needs water. Adequately moistened soil should form a ball when squeezed. Frequent deep soakings are better than frequent light wettings. Water should reach a depth of 12 to 18 inches below the soil surface to encourage ideal root growth.

A new way to ensure a constant supply of moisture is through the use of superabsorbent polymer crystals that absorb moisture when the surrounding soil is moist and release it again when the soil dries out.

Mulching Your Trees

To conserve moisture and promote water and air penetration, the backfilled soil surrounding newly-planted trees can be covered with mulch consisting of a material such as bark, wood chips or pine needles (although the acidity associated with pine needles is not suited for many plants). Mulch depth should be between 3 to 4 inches. Do not, under any circumstances, cover the area surrounding the tree with plastic sheeting since air and water movement are prevented. Porous landscape fabric can be used since it freely allows water and air penetration.

Fertilizer Your Trees

Since all soils have a history, it can be beneficial to get soil analyzed properly for macronutrients such as Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K), micronutrients, pH, soil type, and drainage. Although many trees survive without fertilizer at time of planting, the majority of plants suffer root loss and stress associated with movement between ideal nursery grown conditions and the final planting.

In Conclusion
Here at Top Tree LLC, we strive to be the best at what we do. In order to do that, we ensure that our practices are consistent with optimal tree care, our arborists are properly trained, and our customer service is top notch. If you are searching for a superior tree service company in Richland, we would like to earn your business.