NDSU Extension - Williams County


| Share

Handy Tech for Watering Trees - August 9, 2017

Handy Tech for Watering Trees

Many communities have started using watering bags to help their young trees cope with the drought. Perhaps you have seen the pouches on trees in parks or along streets. These communities have turned to this technology to reduce their labor costs while at the same time effectively irrigating trees.

The typical watering bag is made of polyethylene and holds 15–20 gallons of water. The pouch is wrapped around the outside of the trunk and its sides are zipped together. The trunk does not get wet.

Once filled, water will ooze out of holes in the bottom of the bag for 5 to 9 hours. The trees are watered deeply, helping to develop deep root systems. There is an old rule that a newly planted tree needs a weekly application of 10 gallons of water per inch of trunk caliper (its diameter measured 6 inches above the soil line). Thus, a tree with a caliper of 1–2 inches needs 10–20 gallons and will benefit from a

once-a-week watering using the bag. Larger trees (2–3 inch caliper) can be irrigated twice a week. Trees up to 8 inches can be irrigated using a double bag setup. Bags can be easily unzipped so you can move them from tree to tree. The bags are made by several manufacturers and cost about $25 each. They can be purchased online or through landscape supply stores. The above information was taken from the August 1, 2017 NDSU Yard & Garden Report.


When is it too Much Mulch?

When it comes time to landscape a yard or business, trees and shrubs can add color, shade and a number of great qualities. When planting young trees, sometimes it can be a challenge to get them to take and start growing in new soils. Water is an important factor, especially to young trees and shrubs. This summer we have had one of the hottest and driest summers on record, so we might be noticing that some of our trees are not growing and thriving. Along with the above information for watering trees, something that can help is mulch, specifically wood mulch. Wood mulch will help keep the surrounding area of the tree moist, but how much is too much? Here is some information that can help you keep your trees happy and healthy;

  • When using wood mulch, you want it to extent to the drip line of the tree

  • Mulch will break down with time, meaning, yearly you will have to add more to your landscaped areas

  • Mulch should be 2-4 inches thick, 2 inches if you have poorly drained soils

  • Keep the mulch 6 inches away from the trunk of the tree, we don’t want it to be shaped like a volcano around your tree

Too often people will put mulch right next to the tree, thinking that is the most important spot to keep moist. But what happens is you create a warm and moist area that attracts insects and diseases. In the winter months, that is a great spot for mice to nest and create damage that could kill the tree in following years.



Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.