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Estate Tree Care Experts Ask: Are You Over Watering Your Trees?

All plants including trees require water. But care must be exercised not to give your trees too much of a good thing. The roots of trees take in oxygen within the soil. Excessive watering saturates the soil, displaces its oxygen, and causes the roots to slowly suffocate. To avoid this, water your trees so that their soil is moist rather than saturated.

A common mistake is watering based on the dryness of the surface soil. However, the surface always dries more quickly than deeper within the soil where the tree's roots reside. Therefore, you should check the moistness of the soil one to two inches below the surface. If it feels damp, then no watering is required. Allow this soil layer to dry before watering.

Signs of over Watering

  • Brittle green leaves. Green leaves that crumble in your hands are a sign that the roots aren't getting the oxygen they require. This happens to the tree's established leaves.
  • Yellow young leaves. The new leaves of an over watered tree have a yellow or very light green color. This problem usually starts on the inner lower branches. You will also notice a wilting of young shoots.
  • Fungus. Too much soil water is the ideal environment for fungal growth. When fungus takes hold, you will notice its growth on the surface soil and on the tree's roots. Mushroom and moss growth often occur on very wet soil and serve as an indicator. Too much watering also increases the risk of root rot, which is a fungal disease that make tree roots appear black or dark brown.

Avoid automated watering of your trees because simple timers don't take recent weather conditions into account. Instead, place your finger or water gauge 1 to 2 inches down in the soil. Only when it's dry, should you water the tree. Finally, ask your estate tree care expert for help with problems. For answers to your questions or concerns, please contact us at Advanced Tree Care.