Tips for Keeping Trees & Shrubs Healthy with Proper Irrigation

Ever wonder if you’re over-watering or under-watering your trees and shrubs? Well it’s a common question our certified arborists get each summer. We all too often experience plants that have been “killed with kindness” from over-watering.  Trees can be harmed by too much water as well as not enough. Symptoms for both under-watering and over-watering are wilted and scorched leaves.

Water is essential to all living things and a key part of part health. Supplemental watering during dry hot weather can prevent tree disease, pest problems, and non-recoverable tree root and canopy damage. Irrigation systems are often the weapon of choice for well intended homeowners. From our experience, very few irrigation systems properly satisfy the needs of turf, flower beds and woody plants. Perhaps answering the following questions will help you better manage your watering practices.

  • The water needs of the 3 plant groups mentioned are different with trees and shrubs being the most different form grass and flowers. TRUE.
    • If I see plants wilting they must need water. FALSE. Excessive soil water can also cause wilting.
    • Wetting down the entire plant during dry periods will help it more. FALSE. Water enters a plant through the roots. Continuous wetting of foliage can also encourage disease
    • Watering in the middle of the day is best because that’s when it’s the hottest. FALSE
    • Watering just after sundown is best because the plants are so dry. FALSE. The best time to irrigate is just before sunrise.
    • It would be better to water a tree once in a while with a garden hose than continuously with an irrigation system. TRUE. Watering of woody plants should be slow, infrequent and deep.
    • Since I have an irrigation system my trees should be “all set” for water. FALSE. Mature trees will not have their water needs met by a system programmed for maintaining a lawn or bed area.

Your landscape is worth thousands of dollars and in many cases, has taken generations to reach its mature size. This could all be threatened with an improper irrigation system. Trust your valuable landscape to the knowledgeable tree service professionals at Tree Tech in Massachusetts. Our RI & MA certified arborists will evaluate your plants and offer advice on the best practices for providing water to your landscape. Call us today 888-873-3832.

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