A newly planted tree needs two years or longer to become established in its new environment. They need water, care and attention to ensure their survival and growth.
Larger container or B&B stock often take longer to establish than smaller trees. Trees can lose as much as 75% or more of their root system when they are dug at the nursery.
Building a soil berm just beyond the outer dimensions of the soil ball where the tree is planted will create a saucer that captures water, preventing run off while the tree is being watered.
Adding a doughnut shaped organic mulch (7-10 cm depth) around the base of the tree reduces soil moisture evaporation and helps control weed competition. Choose a medium textured mulch material like shredded bark or composted hardwood wood chips. Leave a mulch free area 10-15 cm radius all around the trunk of the tree. Mulches also keep the soil temperatures cooler so the roots can function better. Air and water infiltration is improved.
For the first several months after planting, most of the tree’s roots are still within the original root ball, with some roots beginning to grow beyond this area. Until new roots grow into the surrounding soil at the planting site, water the original root ball area and just beyond this area.
HOW MUCH WATER AND HOW OFTEN?
Rule of Thumb: Apply 45 litres (10 gallons) of water per inch of the tree’s diameter per week. Plants can use 3-5 times as much water in hot, dry weather, so be prepared to water more frequently during these conditions.
Deep watering to a depth of 30-40 cm will keep the tree’s root zone moist (but not wet) and encourage root regeneration that is essential for the tree’s survival. Avoid saturating the soil for long periods of time.
Soil type, depth, and condition influence how much moisture can be stored in the soil and how often you may have to water your trees. Sandy soils hold relatively little water and need frequent irrigation. Soils that have more clay content hold water better, requiring less frequent irrigation.
For more information on watering your recently planted trees visit the following post: www.mapleleavesforever.ca/watering-young-maple-trees/
or Google: How to Water Young Trees to get a list of references on this topic.