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How to Water Your Tree During a Drought

25 OCT 2023

How to Water Your Tree During a Drought

Maintaining healthy trees is essential for the well-being of your property and the environment. During hot weather, trees can suffer from drought stress, weakening them and making them susceptible to infections and infestations. The situation is worse for newly planted trees or those already showing stress. At the Sesmas Tree Service, we understand the challenges property owners experience in maintaining a healthy lawn, especially in the dead of summer. Here are the tips for watering trees during a drought to ensure they thrive.

Assessing Tree Water Needs

Before watering your trees, it’s crucial to assess their water needs. Different trees require varying amounts of water, and factors such as tree species, age, and soil type play a significant role. Established trees have deeper root systems and can tolerate drought better than newly planted ones. Consider consulting local arborists or horticultural experts to determine the specific requirements of your trees.


Mulching is vital in conserving soil moisture and reducing water loss through evaporation. Add organic mulch, such as wood chips or compost. This mulch layer should be about 2-4 inches thick but should not touch the trunk. Mulching helps regulate soil temperature, suppress weeds, and maintain soil moisture, reducing the watering frequency needed during a drought. If you need professional help, hire a tree care company to handle mulching and other maintenance needs. 

Watering Techniques

During hot weather, the best watering techniques for trees involve providing a slow, deep soak to ensure that water reaches the tree’s root zone effectively. This deep watering encourages the development of a robust root system that can access moisture from deeper soil layers, making the tree more resilient to drought stress. It is advisable to consult a tree service expert for guidance to prevent overwatering and underwatering. 

Monitor Soil Moisture

Schedule regular soil monitoring sessions with a professional tree care company to ensure the soil’s moisture level is suitable for growth. Our arborists use specialized equipment like soil moisture meters, but DIYers can use their fingers. Stick your finger into the soil about 3-4 inches deep. If the soil feels dry at this depth, it’s time to water. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot, diseases, and tree removal. 

Prioritize Young and Stressed Trees

Newly planted trees and those already showing signs of stress require extra attention during a drought. Water young trees more frequently to help them establish deep roots. Stressed trees, such as those with wilting or yellowing leaves, should also receive priority when watering. Call a tree service provider for an inspection if you notice signs of deterioration. 

Rain Barrels and Water Conservation

Consider using rain barrels to collect and store rainwater for tree watering. This sustainable practice reduces your water bill and helps conserve this precious resource during a drought. Ensure you keep the rain barrels covered to prevent mosquito breeding.

Watering your trees properly during a drought is essential for their health and survival. Following these tips can help your trees thrive even in the most challenging weather. Contact us at the Sesmas Tree Service and schedule a consultation with our experts. We provide various services, including pruning, trimming, and tree removal, ensuring your yard remains pristine.