It’s getting dry & warm out there …
We’re seeing some gorgeous sunny spring days recently, which means…it’s time to start watering your young tree(s)! A newly planted tree needs at least 10-15 gallons of water each week from roughly now until late September for the first three years in the ground to ensure that they thrive going forward. Providing one deep watering over the entire root system per week is recommended. You can think of it as giving your tree a weekly rain shower – every Saturday morning, for example. If we have approximately 90-degree or warmer weather consistently or if your tree shows any signs of being thirsty (wilting, browning leaf margins, etc), it wouldn’t hurt to double up and water both Tuesday and Saturday that week.
There are a number of different ways to make watering easier. You can easily construct your own 5-gallon bucket drip system or purchase a 15-gallon slow-release watering bag (such as a gator bag). Please note we no longer will be offering these from the Friends of Trees as we have in years past, but that is because they are readily available online and in local hardware and garden stores. Also, be sure to check out our Tree Care page to get all the details on taking care of your new investment.
Remember that weeds and grass compete with your tree for water. Please maintain the mulch for your tree(s) and hand pull weeds. When you mulch, be sure that there is a 3-6” radius from the base of the trunk of the tree that is free of mulch. You want that space clear so there’s no moisture held at the base of the trunk, which can rot the tree’s root crown. The moisture held by mulch should be above the growing root tips as they grow outward from the trunk, for the most part within about 18″ of the soil surface. Also, please be careful not to damage the tree bark with lawn mowers, weed eaters, or car doors. The bark is what contains a tree’s water and nutrient transportation system; it also keeps insects and diseases out.
We have volunteer Summer Inspectors out visiting every street and yard tree planted in the previous season, and they keep us informed on the health of the trees we plant. If you have a tree that isn’t looking so great, please trust that after Summer Inspectors complete their routes this summer we will then determine if staff needs to check on your tree.
Portland Urban Forestry recommends an annual root pruning for trees planted in the streets, especially those in narrower planting strips, to discourage roots from growing under sidewalks. Here is a link to learn more.
Pay it Forward! Friends of Trees couldn’t reach our high goals without supporters like you. In order to continue providing tree discounts and plant in as many neighborhoods possible, we need your help! Please consider making a donation to help us grow our urban forest for both this and future generations.
Hopefully we’ve answered your questions and you’ve found these links helpful, but feel free to contact us if you have any questions at 503-595-0212 or email me at AndrewL@FriendsofTrees.org .