Watering Newly Planted Tree – How often should you water?

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No yard is complete without a tree, especially if you are looking for the right combination of shelter, shade, and landscaping. New trees need a lot of care, especially when it comes to watering.

How often should you water a newly planted tree: Before you plant your new tree, you should give the root ball a thorough watering. Then, you will need to water every day for the first few weeks. After three weeks, you can water every two or three days. Finally, after your tree is three months old, you can change to a once-per-week watering schedule.

How to properly water your newly planted tree?

There are many stages to watering your new tree. You will want to create a schedule to be sure you aren’t missing any steps.

When you water your tree, you want the roots to have enough time to absorb as much water as possible. Long, steady stretches of watering will allow the water to soak deep into the soil.

You can even find tree bags that fit around the base of your tree trunk. You fill the bag with water and it slowly empties into the soil, allowing the roots more access.

Before planting

Even before you plant your new tree, you should water it. This is an important step as the tree root will be completely exposed, giving you better access to water and thus allowing it to take in more water.

If your new tree is in a container, gently remove the root ball from it. Lie the tree on its side if possible, and if not, have somebody hold it up to angle the root ball.

Then, direct your hose onto the root ball, leaving it there for a few minutes to allow the water to penetrate into the roots and through the existing soil. This might be a bit messy, so water your tree over grass.  

1 to 3 weeks after planting

The period immediately after you plant a new tree is crucial. If you don’t water enough during this time, your tree won’t take root and it won’t live.

For the first two to three weeks, be sure to water your new tree daily. Let the water run through the grass and into the root structure for a few minutes to ensure enough water gains access to the root ball.

Try to water in the morning or the evening. This way, the ground will be cooler and the water won’t be taken up by the surrounding area.

4 to 12 weeks after planting

As long as your tree is looking healthy and isn’t showing any signs that it is weak or has brown leaves, you can start to ease up on the watering.

After three or four weeks, you only have to water your tree every two or three days. This will depend on the state of your tree plus the weather conditions in your area.

If you have a cool spring with lots of rainfall, you only have to water every three days. However, if it is summer, then be sure to water every two days.

12 weeks plus

During the first year, you will still want to water your new tree. However, after a few months of planting it, you only need to water it once a week.

Make sure this watering is long and deep so the water can access all the tree roots which will start to spread out.

If you have a very hot summer, however, you will want to water more often as your new tree is still delicate in its first year. With really hot, dry conditions, be sure to water every three days if your tree is less than a year old.

When to water your newly planted tree?

The best time to water your new tree is in the morning or the evening. Watering in the hot afternoons means more water is evaporated or siphoned off to surrounding plants and grasses.

Where to water your newly planted tree?

Whether you are using a bucket of water or a hose, you want to aim the water for where the immediate roots of your tree are. With a hose, simply aim where the tree trunk is as the water will seep through the ground and directly onto the root ball.

A new tree’s roots will take time to spread out so in the first year, just concentrate on the area directly around the tree trunk. This will only be a diameter of a few weeks.

How often should I water a newly planted tree?

The first two or three weeks after you plant a new tree are crucial for its survival. During this time, you want to water every day.

If it is raining a lot, then you don’t need to water. However, if it is just a light misting, this won’t be enough water to soak into the soil and reach the roots, in which case you will still need water.

After three weeks, you can ease off and water two or three times a week. Be sure to pay attention to your local weather patterns and if it is very hot or dry, water more during this period.

How much water does a newly planted tree need?

The amount of water your tree needs is tied to the thickness of its trunk. To figure out how much water to use, start by measuring the diameter of your tree.

Use a ruler and place it across your tree trunk, measuring w6 inches above the ground. The distance across the trunk is the diameter.

For trees that have a diameter of 1 inch, use 1 to 1.5 gallons of water every time you water your tree. For trees that have a diameter of 2 inches, use 2 to 3 gallons of water each time.

As you can see, the thicker the tree trunk, the more water you will need. This is because the root system will be larger, as will the size of the tree above ground.


New trees need a lot of water, so be prepared to water daily in the first few weeks and then switch to two or three times a week. If your tree has dry or brown leaves, or you are in a hot stretch of weather, water your new tree more.

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