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How Often Should a Newly Planted Tree Be Watered?

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To begin answering this question, it is important to bear in mind a few critical considerations. One is how much rainfall you typically get in a year or a season for your area. Regions that get more rain in a given amount of time typically mean that you might not need to water your trees nearly as often as if you were living in a drier area.

Watering is essential for newly planted plants or shrubs. Water them at the planting time and the following intervals: Water your plants every day for the first two weeks after they’ve been planted. Water every 2–3 days for 3–12 weeks after planting.

Planting a new tree is helpful to the environment and is very exciting for property owners. New trees resemble new life and can sustain us with natural shading in the hot summer months. Knowing when and how often to water a newly planted tree is key to maintaining its life in the years to come.

When you plant or transplant a young tree, the primary goal to keep in mind is that the tree needs to recover from the shock of the move and establish new roots. The only way these roots become firmly planted into the soil is to keep them watered as frequently as possible without drowning them.

Picture of newly planted trees

How much water should you use and how often?

Care for your new tree begins even before you plant it. In fact, you must completely and thoroughly water the spot right before putting in the new tree.

Next, you will need to water your tree thoroughly right after planting it to saturate the soil and dispose of any air pocket, as they can hinder the vital nutrients that help give the tree a good start in life.

It is vital to water a third time. This must be done 24 hours after planting. This gives it a better chance of establishing firm roots to start growing. Your soil will begin to settle as the new tree gets every bit of moisture needed for firmness and vitality. Plus, it can retain moisture so that the roots remain strong enough to hold your tree in place.

After this, watering should be done every day for at least a week. Your soil will get moist, and your roots will strengthen even more. Additionally, you should check every root ball to ensure that it has plenty of clean water so that it can transport it to every part of your new tree for nourishment.

All watering should be done in the evening after dusk. This will help avoid the harsh rays of the sun, which tend to evaporate water much too quickly. Plus, the cooler temperatures give the water a fair chance of settling well into the roots for optimal moisture.

Excess heat can cause water to evaporate a lot quicker from trees. But the interesting fact is that exposure to good sunlight will actually cause the tree to metabolize water at a much slower rate, thus resulting in a long-lasting nourishment process. This serves to protect the tree and its leaves throughout most of the day.

You can start tapering off routine watering shortly after the first week. You can begin the process of watering your new tree twice a week for the next month. The process is serious and requires that you check to ensure every root has an adequate water supply and that soil irrigation drains excess water as needed.

Keeping your new tree properly watered can keep it growing at a steady rate. The tree will be protected from pests and all manner of diseases. Plus, new leaves will grow much faster, which means more vitamins will be produced for your tree during photosynthesis. This is the natural process in which leaves store energy from the sun to create strong, healthy roots.

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Other Things to Consider

Keep in mind that this is only a standard blueprint for most trees. There are other factors to consider when deciding how much water to give and how often. Below are some situations that require a few adjustments in planting and watering any new tree.

Size Matters

Watering your new tree sufficiently requires you to consider its size. Bigger trees may need more water than something smaller. In fact, trees 1.5 inches in diameter require lesser amounts than those holding diameter of roughly 6 inches. The smaller trees will typically require roughly 1.5 gallons of water on a routine basis.

The time frame of watering a smaller tree at this approximate amount lasts for about a year and a half at the most. Bigger trees will need at least nine gallons for about nine years. Either way, each tree should get the correct amount of water to sustain good nutrients and promote optimal growth.

How Needs Can Differ From One Tree to Another

The amount and frequency of watering depend mainly on the size and species of your tree. Most trees that have larger roots or root balls are more likely to need greater amounts of water. These are the very trees that will need it to grow more leaves and support more branches that will house them.

In short, the bigger the tree, the greater the need for watering it.


The type of tree you invest in and the plant should be congruent to locality. A tropical tree would fare much better in a tropical climate, whereas tree species better for withstanding high winds and humidity would fare much better within those environments. There are three main areas to consider: low spots, slope tops, and windy regions.

Trees Planted in Low Spots

A low spot will protect most trees from excessive water loss and provide shade. In fact, because they provide this level of protection, the sun cannot drain water through heat evaporation.

Trees Planted in Slope Top Regions

Slope top regions have certain benefits and quirks when it comes to the growing pains of your young tree. They may be good for naturally draining excess water from trees that don’t need it. However, this presents a serious drought issue in many cases where too much water can be lost due to getting pulled down by gravity and other factors.

Areas With High Winds

High wind regions also have an impact on good, quality trees growth and nourishment. Since high winds can evaporate your tree’s water supply a lot q quicker than in less wind-intensive areas, this means that you’ll need to water them more frequently. This is because the stoma inside the leaves releases water into the atmosphere a lot quicker.

If you have plants or other foliage, using more water will be vital for tree growth. Each item planted is just like a human in that they will compete for the same resource to sustain life.

Soil Type

The type of soil you’re using can greatly affect the growth and vitality of your new tree. There are several types of soil to be aware of before planting a brand new tree.

Each soil type has its own attributes that can contribute to the growth potential of a newly planted tree. They can also hinder tree growth and increase or decrease the need for greater watering efforts.

Sandy Soil

Sandy soil has a texture that is rough, grainy, and very dry. When planting your new tree, you should consider that this may mean you’ll need to add more water.

If you want to water less and still have firm, moisturized tree roots, your best bet is to consider another soil type or texture.

Clay Soil

Clay soil has a smooth texture that can retain water for a long period of time. The good news is that your tree will remain nourished without a lot of watering. The bad news is that too much water can be held, and your tree and roots may suffer. String caution during watering is highly advised.

Loam Soil

Loam soil is the type of soil that is considered the most ideal for any tree. The main reason is that it can keep an even balance of water for all trees. Loam soil is clean and simple to use.

Urban Fill Soil

Urban fill soil is a complex topic that requires a closer investigation. The one problem which can be detected with urban soil is directly related to its location.

Urban fill soil has the capacity to collect contaminants and toxins over time. Any area with a dense population is subject to automobiles, nearby factories, and landfill waste. Having it checked by a professional is best before plant a tree because these elements can poison the water supply and shorten your new tree’s life. Caution is strongly advised.

Even debris from recent construction in your area greatly affects the efficacy of this type of soil. If any recent renovations or road projects in your area, you should have its quality tested before planting any tree.

Why Adding Mulch is Vital to Your Newly Planted Tree

Adding mulch helps retain the water you put into the tree to keep it moist between feedings. Mulch should be applied in a 3-inch layer that surrounds t the foot of your tree. It is recommended that you use organic mulch comprised of wood and bark that is chopped and ground to become biodegradable. It should also be applied away from the trunk.

Good, quality mulch is beneficial in other ways:

  • It can nourish soil and moderate its temperature regardless of climate.
  • It provides proper irrigation whole helping to retain adequate levels of water.
  • It prevents the growth of harmful weeds that can hinder the growth of your tree.

What Should You Do in the Event of a Drought?

When dry seasons or a drought happens, you may feel the need to add more mulch or fertilizer to secure a higher level of moisture. Unfortunately, this is equivalent to slamming on your car’s brakes during an ice storm. Adding fertilizer or mulch will only stunt tree growth during this dry period and leave it vulnerable to pests and disease.

It’s important to keep in mind that fertilizers have a high amount of salt in them. Excess salt consumption only increases thirst and will lead to more water needs. In this case, you should refrain from adding any more fertilizer until the climate in your area improves. In the meantime, your tree will stop growing temporarily but will not die off.

Conclusion on how often should a newly planted tree be watered

Planting a tree is good for the environment. They add natural beauty and protect you from the sun. The secret lies in the cultivation and watering of the soil correctly.

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