Keep Trees Hydrated During Summer Heat

The start of August often means the arrival of two other things: heat and drought. These can make landscape care more challenging, but just as you’d keep yourself hydrated in the heat, you also have to make sure trees are getting the water they need.

To deliver proper tree hydration without wasting water, the experts at Davey Tree recommend the following:

  1. Water trees in the morning, when cooler ground and air temperatures allow water to soak through to tree roots. In warmer temperatures, part of the water will be wasted through evaporation.
  2. When watering, run a sprinkler beneath the tree as slowly as possible, use a drip hose, or just apply a slow trickle from a standard garden hose.
  3. Water a tree about three times as long as you would your lawn. After watering, you should be able to easily insert a long screwdriver six to eight inches into the ground under the tree.
  4. If you use a sprinkler to water a tree, gauge the correct amount of watering time by placing an empty coffee or soup can in the drip zone. Then run the sprinkler slowly until two inches of water have collected in the can.
  5. Reduce moisture loss by placing two to four inches of mulch under the tree. The mulch should be pulled back six inches from the tree’s trunk and arranged in a saucer-like fashion. Otherwise, if you build up mulch into a volcano shape, you’ll cut off crown roots and decrease air circulation, which can kill the tree.

With careful watering, trees will not only survive summer’s last heat waves, but also be in shape for the seasons to come. For more tree care tips and planting advice, check out

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