Forget the Grass - Water Your Trees!

Thursday, July 5, 2012 - 7:16am


Newly planted city trees in need of watering during current dry period

Forget the Grass - Water Your Trees!
The hot, dry weather conditions are stressful to newly planted trees. Over 5,000 street trees planted over the last two years are in need of watering.

The City is asking homeowners to help by watering their newly planted trees in front of their house. The root systems of these recently planted trees are not yet fully established and require some extra care. The city tree(s) as well as your own newly planted trees may require 10 gallons of water every week. Check the soil for moisture content. The soil should be moist, not saturated. People are encouraged to water in the early morning or early evening to minimize water loss from evaporation.

To Mulch or Not to Mulch?
The Dane County Tree Board advises using shredded bark mulch to help retain soil moisture. Mulch is much better over tree roots than lawn grass, which competes with tree roots for water. Never pile mulch up against the trunk. Start mulching about four inches out from the trunk, and don't apply it any deeper than four inches. If the area has not been mulched before, water the ground deeply before mulching. Then water again after mulching to wet down the mulch so the next application of water is more effective.

For additional tree care tips, visit the Forestry Section's web page or Dane County Tree Board website.

  • Dean Kahl, 266-4891
  • Laura Whitmore, 266-5949