Photo by Jon Hayes Photography.
Spring is here. And while most trees haven’t started to leaf out for the season, they will sooner than you think. And once they do, it is critical for residents to water our street trees. So now is the time to make plans for it, especially if you have a young tree on the sidewalk in front of your house or apartment. This is especially true if it was newly planted this year. The basic goal you should have is to water young trees at least once a week, so long as you get a good 20-25 gallons of water. If you can’t water the new trees, try to find a neighbor who can.
The preferred watering device is the ooze tube (the bags that go around the bottom of the trees). You can differentiate them from the not-preferred gator bags because the gator bags have zippers. (They’re not preferred because they can create an unhealthy environment around the trunk and you have to remove them after each use.) With the ooze tube you can just fill it up and let it go.
If you don’t have an ooze tube, you can just leave a hose trickling into the tree box for 30 minutes to an hour.
Once a tree is mature, you can stop watering it. By then the roots are so spread out under the sidewalk that it doesn’t need your help anymore (although during any particularly dry periods, it can’t hurt to water it). At what point does a tree become “mature”? That depends on the tree. It’s better safe than sorry so you might as well do it for the first eight years or so.