Tree Watering – Fall Planted Trees

HOW To Water

Expect about 15 seconds of watering at a medium to strong flow rate per gallon of the original container size. So a 7-gallon tree, about 2 minutes. A 25 gallon tree, about 6 minutes. If the mulch is dry, it’ll take some time just to soak the mulch, so you need more to moisten the soil below.

You can use a strong flow if you are hand watering with a hose end that has a “shower” or “rain” setting. If you get run-off under the mulch but haven’t watered that much, move to another section or stop watering for a few minutes to let it soak in.

Another option is to set your sprayer on a gentle flow and leave it spraying on each section of the mulched area. Move it every 5 minutes or if you see runoff. With a gentle flow it’ll take about 1 minute per gallon of the original container size to water your tree. So a 25 gallon tree, about 25 minutes.

Remember: It’s better to water deeply and less often than shallowly and more often.

WHERE To Water

For the first 4 months the roots will be in the area of the container, for a 25 gallon tree this is about a 2-3 foot diameter. Though you want to water the entire mulched area, make sure you don’t miss watering this area.


  • Water in 1 week.
  • If the weather remains on the warm side, water every week until it gets cold.
  • For deciduous trees, water until the leaves have fallen off or have turned completely brown (some deciduous trees hold on to their leaves until the Spring).
  • Once cold, generally no watering until the Spring warm-up.
  • During the Spring warm-up, water every 2 weeks.
  • Once the leaves are out and the weather is warm, water once per week until the weather cools off in the fall.
  • In the fall, water every 2 weeks until it gets cold.
  • At this point you shouldn’t need to water anymore except in hot weather dry spells. If you get one, water every 2 weeks to enhance the health of your tree.
  • Trees such as Japanese Maples planted in hot spots require weekly watering in the heat to help prevent leaf scorch and limit tree stress.

Do I need to water in the event of RAIN?

Because the tree is new and due to the mulch, you’ll need to water even if it rains unless you get at least 1/2 inch of rain or more for the watering period. Some locations are sheltered from the rain and as much as 1 inch of rain is needed before the tree is adequately watered. Don’t be afraid to put your hands in the soil and check for moisture after a rain.


If you have concerns about your trees health or watering, please contact me right away. If you feel your tree needs more than 1 deep watering per week in the summer, please let me know.