Trees Need Water
How long could you last without water? Do you think you could go for a few days or maybe a week? Although we tend not to think about it much, trees also need water. In fact, they need it every bit as much as we do. A host of tree health problems are initially due to lack of moisture.
Every living cell within a tree must have water to function, just as we do. Cells that lack water soon die. Additionally, the tree’s vascular system uses water to transport nutrients and perform other vital operations.
Absorbing Moisture From the Ground
Trees absorb moisture from the ground. That moisture then moves from the root system to the trunk and, from there, moves to the branches and leaves. It is then emitted from small openings in the leaves to complete a process called transpiration. Transpiration helps keep trees cool in the hot summer sun. This is why being in the shade of a tree will cool you more than being in the shade of manmade structures.
Because trees obtain their moisture mostly from the ground, it’s important to know how things work. The ground holds moisture within open-pore space. Poor, compacted soil has very little open-pore space available, so rainwater tends to run off. Organic matter, including wood-chip mulch, increases pore space within the soil and reduces evaporation at the surface level.
How Much is Enough?
How much is enough? Large, well-established trees should be watered deeply every four to six days during droughts. Smaller, younger trees should be watered every two to four days. Deep watering on a less frequent basis trains trees to become more drought resistant. Frequent, shallow watering will train roots to grow toward the surface, where they are less effective and more prone to become damaged by prolonged periods of drought. Additionally, they are more likely to be injured by lawn mowers.
So, give your trees a nice long drink of water. Your trees will not only be healthier, you will enjoy them more and spend less money trying to nurse them back to health.
If your trees need care, contact Growing Earth Tree Care for a free consultation.