Irrigation and Drainage


Large trees are capable of absorbing over 100 gallons of water in a single day and 95% of this can be transpired into the air.


– Best time to water is in early morning or late evening.

– There is a fine line between too much or too little water.

– trees have many variables to the amount of water they need: species, size, air temp., humidity, light levels / intensity, wind movement, and soil type all play major factors.

– If there is two much water drainage may be required if to little irrigation may be necessary.

– Recently transplanted trees require more watering as it deals with transplant shock

Watering Rates – infrequent long soakings are better than frequent short


Infrequent Long soakings – forces roots to penetrate deeper into the soil to access water making it more tolerable of drought conditions.

Frequent Long Soakings – do not allow water to penetrate deep causing roots to grow near the surface making the vulnerable to drought conditions. This may also lead to soil compaction if soil doesn’t have time to dry.

Irrigation Methods

Common methods of watering are the hose, sprinkler, drip line, high pressure injection, and soaker systems.

Hose – may cause runoff and not fully infiltrate into the soil.

– keep water away from trunk and dispersed evenly around drip line.

Sprinkler – most common, evenly distributes over entire area.

– will not cause runoff

Drip Line – hose with numerous tiny holes, slowly releasing water

– hose wrapped around root ball and should be extended outwards

to support a wider drip line as the tree grows.

High Pressure Injection – water is sprayed in soil below surface

vegetation, this waters and aids in aerating compacted soil.

Soaker Systems – has many forms from perforated pail to soaker hose.

– great for water penetrating deep into the soil.