Summer Tree Watering: Measurable Tips for When and How Much



It is important to water your trees properly during the summer to protect them from the hot climate. It is especially important to keep the young trees in good condition by watering them consistently since their root system is not yet developed. Unfortunately, if you don’t follow the correct watering guidelines, you can leave the young shrubs and trees exposed to drought conditions and stress which can damage and even kill them. If you have too many trees to handle, it is best to search for “tree service near me” on Google and hire a professional to handle the issue.

Tips & Tricks

However, if you want to learn more about how to take care of your trees and water them properly during the summer season, read on. Now, let’s look at a few tree watering guidelines that will help to protect your plants in the summer:

1. When to water your trees –

During the summertime, it is best not to water the trees when the sun is at the highest point in the sky since the hot temperature will evaporate the water more quickly and prevent the trees from absorbing sufficient water. Thus, it is best to water your trees during the early morning or the evening to enable the roots to absorb more water.

Now, although it is recommended you water your trees consistently, there is no one schedule you can follow for watering all of your trees. This is because the watering schedule will depend on the weather conditions, soil conditions, and the size of your tree. For instance, newly planted and young trees will need more water and need to be watered more frequently.


You can do a simple test to figure out if your tree needs watering. Simply take a screwdriver that’s at least six-inch long and probe it into the ground under the drip line in several locations. If it is not easy to probe the ground, you should start to water the trees, especially if rainfall is not in the forecast.

2. How much water is needed –

Generally, it is recommended that established trees receive at least 10 gallons of water for every inch of their diameter. The main point to remember is to not allow the soil to dry out completely or stay soggy since it will make the tree stressed and prone to diseases and infection. However, it is important to water the trees consistently throughout the summer based on their requirements.

If you have young trees in your garden, they will need more water for the first couple of weeks until they establish their root system. After the roots begin to extend beyond the root ball, you can turn back to the normal water schedule. We will discuss the details below.

3. How much mulch is needed

You need to apply mulch to prevent the soil from drying during excessive heat. It is recommended you apply a layer of mulch that is at least 2-4 inches deep to regulate the soil temperature and conserve moisture.

Tree watering guidelines for young trees (0-5) years

Now, let’s look at the watering guidelines for young trees according to their age:

1. Three days after being planted

During this stage, hand watering is the best option. The plant should receive about 15 to 20 gallons of water, however not at one go. You need to fill the watering basin 3 times.

2. For the first three weeks after planting

During this stage, the watering basin should be filled with 5 to 10 gallons of water once a week.

3. For two to six months after planting

During this stage, the watering basin should be filled with 10 to 15 gallons of water every week or every other week.

4. For the remainder of the first year

During this stage, the plant should receive 10 to 15 gallons of water every other week in the absence of soaking rainfall.

5. Year two

It is appropriate to water the trees every two to four weeks when rain is scarce. Generally, 15 to 20 gallons of water will suffice.

6. Year three to five

You only need to water these trees once a month with 20 to 30 gallons of water.

Tree watering guidelines for mature or established trees

The watering guidelines for mature trees will depend on the type of their species and the amount of rainfall they receive. Let’s look at the details below:

1. Dry California Native Oaks

Mature native California Oaks should not be irrigated.

2. Low water needs species

Generally, these trees should receive 10-15 gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter once or twice in the dry season.

3. Moderate water needs species

These trees should receive 10-15 gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter every other month.

4. High water needs species (Thirsty trees)

These trees should receive 10-15 gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter monthly.

How to select the correct watering methods?

Not all watering methods are equal. Generally, hand-watering is the best choice for young drought-tolerant trees. For that, it is necessary to create a soil basin within the drip line and then fill it with water from a bucket or hose so that the soil can be soaked.

Installing drip irrigation is the most efficient way to water your trees since you can apply the water at a slow rate and right near the tree roots. You can also convert your sprinkler system from spray to drip if you want. Alternatively, you can choose soaker hoses.


Taking care of the trees in your garden can be a challenging job for many people. You need to follow different guidelines for maintaining different plant species, learn how to use different types of tools, protect them from pests and diseases, and follow the correct watering guidelines to ensure they don’t die during the summer heat. If all of this is too overwhelming for you, you can search for “tree service near me” and hire an expert to take care of your garden or all the plants on your property.

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