Florida heat waves can prove detrimental to your tree’s health and other plants. Ensuring your landscape’s health during a hot spell can require more from you than during the rest of the year. To help you establish good tree watering practices for hot weather, True Cut Tree Service, Inc. is providing the following tips.
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Newly established trees will require a bit more TLC than established trees. Newer trees should be watered regularly and deeply to ensure they get the water they need to grow strong and healthy. If your tree was established only a few months ago, you can keep watering localized around their root ball, as the roots probably haven’t grown beyond that point yet. For trees that have been established for longer, you want to evenly distribute water around the root ball, going as far out as the edge of the canopy. Depending on rainfall, plan to water your newly established trees about three times a week.
Even a mature, well-established tree needs a little help during the long, scorching summer months when rainfall may be limited. You will typically want to water your tree every three days or so with about five gallons of water. Ensure you water to a soil depth of 10 inches so your tree’s roots can access the water. Extend watering beyond the tree’s canopy to cover the full area where roots may be. Additionally, avoid watering the trunk’s base directly as this may result in tree rot. If you’re not sure if you’re watering your tree often enough, take a screwdriver with a blade at least 6-inches long and insert it into the ground around the tree. If the ground is hard and you’re having trouble inserting the screwdriver, it’s likely your tree needs some water.
Watering your tree at the right times of day is important to help the tree retain water and to conserve water. If the sun is too high in the sky and the temperatures are soaring, water will quickly evaporate, leaving your tree still parched and your time wasted. Instead of watering when it’s hottest, try watering in the early morning before the sun is too high or in the early evening when it’s beginning to set. This will give your tree plenty of time to soak in the water before competing with the sun.
In addition to watering at more favorable times of the day, adding a protective layer of mulch to the soil can prevent water run-off and evaporation. Additionally, as mulch begins to break down, it reintroduces vital nutrients to the soil, fortifying the tree. It also limits competition from weeds by inhibiting their growth. When mulching, leave some space open at the base of the trunk to prevent rot. Add a two to three-inch layer of mulch in a circle around the tree, approximately three feet or more. When applying new mulch, removing the old mulch is unnecessary before adding new mulch.