How long would you last without water? Do you think you could go for a few days or maybe a week? Although we tend to not think about it much, trees also need water. In fact, they need it every bit as much as you do. A host of tree health problems are initially due to lack of water.
Every living cell within a tree must have water in order for it to function, just like we do. Cells that lack water soon die. Additionally, the vascular system in trees use water to transport nutrients and perform other vital operations.
Trees absorb moisture from ground. It moves from the root system to the trunk and from there goes to the branches and leaves. It is then emitted from small openings in the leaves to complete a process called transpiration. Transpiration helps cool trees in the hot summer sun. This is why being in the shade of a tree will cool you down more than the shade from other sources.
Since trees get their water 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.
Large, well-established trees should get a deep watering every 4-6 days during droughts. Smaller trees should be watered every 2-4 days. Deep watering, done on a less frequent basis trains trees to become more drought resistant. Frequent, shallow watering trains roots to grow towards the surface, where they are less effective and prone to become damaged by prolonged periods of droughts.
So give your trees a nice long drink of water at the rates mentioned above. Watering trees is crucial to good health. Your trees will not only be healthier, you will enjoy them more.Paul Martin