How to Water a Fruit Tree

Knowing how to water a fruit tree the right way is a key ingredient to a tree’s success. If you water the wrong way, it can lead to insufficient growth and diseases. Generally, fruit trees need about an inch of rainfall every seven to ten days for established trees. Another way of looking at it is water when the top eight to ten inches of soil are dry. However there is a difference in how you water young and mature trees. Young trees are newly planted trees perhaps 3 to 6 feet in height in their first growing season. It may take about one growing season for a tree to mature and establish its roots.

how to water apple tree
how to water tree

Newly Planted

  • Newly planted trees would need more water than a mature tree. In fact about 5 gallons of water (one large bucket) about 3 times a week is adequate.
  • However this frequency depends on your soil type (e.g. sandy or loamy), tree size (e.g. dwarf or semi-dwarf) and weather. For example if it rains all week, then you don’t need to water. However if it is really hot in the summer, you would need to water more. Semi-dwarf trees also need more water generally than dwarf trees.

Established Trees

  • Established trees only need to be watered when there is little rainfall or when you experience drought.
  • Generally, about an inch of rainfall every seven to ten days is enough.

How to Water an Fruit Trees Do’s and Don’ts

Here are some easy do’s and don’ts of watering that will help the process further.

Watering Do’s

  • Where to water: Water only the ground where the roots are around the tree
  • Frequency: In general, water deeply when the roots have dried out. This may mean once a week or once a month depending on the weather, soil condition, and the age of the tree. If it is very hot and dry in your location, it may even mean more.

Watering Don’ts

  • Where to water: Do not water the upper part of the tree which means the trunk, leaves, and branches. If you do, then this may lead to diseases.
  • Frequency: If you see standing water or have roots that are waterlogged, then this is a sign of overwatering. This can cause root rot and may deter the tree from absorbing the necessary minerals.

Watering in the Winter

The tree still needs water even when it is dormant in the winter. If there are dry spells during the winter, soak the roots with water when it is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

What to Water With

You can use buckets, a hose, either a regular or soaker hose, or drip irrigation. With a hose, simply put near the roots on a slow trickle in order to give a deep soak without the water flowing everywhere.

how to water tree

Mulching

Cover the top of the soil near the tree with mulch so that the moisture stays in the soil. Moreover weeds are less likely to grow. Don’t put the mulch in a way that touches the bark of the tree. It should be about 2′ away from it.

how to mulch tree

Knowing how to water a fruit tree is an important step in growing and getting delicious fruit. If how to water a fruit tree is the second step and you would like to know how to plant correctly, check out our article on how to plant fruit trees.

If you would like to discover our fruit trees, explore our tree catalog or shop page.

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