Watering newly planted trees and shrubs

Mon. May. 23, 2016

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Watering newly planted trees and shrubs

I’d bet there are a bunch of you who’ve been plant shopping!  Perhaps you’ve purchased new trees and shrubs.  If so, then click on Watering newly planted trees and shrubs from the U of MN Ext.

Root systems of bare root, containerized, and balled and burlapped trees and shrubs have been severely reduced or restricted by nursery management practices.  Once you get them home…  Newly planted trees and shrubs need regular and consistent watering until root systems establish.

water resevoir for plant

After planting, those systems will grow and establish until they are much wider than the above ground portion of the plant. During this establishment time, they need consistent watering to prevent water stress.  Some nurseries will give you a watering schedule.  I know my local nursery does.  Follow THEIR directions.  If they didn’t give that to you – ask.  If you bought at a big box store or another type of outlet, then follow my lead.

For the first 2 weeks, water daily.  Depending on the size of your new purchase your water VOLUME will vary.  For trees, apply 1-1 1/2 gallons per inch of stem diameter at each watering.  Measure the diameter at 6 inches above the root flare.

tree caliper

When watering newly planted shrubs, apply a volume of water that is 1/4 – 1/3 of the volume of the container that the shrub was purchased in. As roots grow and spread, irrigation volume will need to be increased.

Barberry and Buttonbush
Barberry and Buttonbush planted in 2015



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