Watering Newly Planted Trees

Watering header photo scaled

There is a lot to consider when planting new trees, and knowing exactly how much water to use when watering newly planted trees is essential to protect your young tree so it can thrive for decades or even longer. 

In this blog we explore the vital role of water in the growth and resilience of these fledgling botanical wonders.

We’ll unravel the mysteries of hydration, learning how to quench a tree’s thirst without compromising its well-being.  

So grab your watering cans and hoses as we delve into this intriguing subject. Together, we’ll unlock the secrets of watering newly planted trees, one droplet at a time. Let’s ensure these saplings thrive and flourish.

Tips On Planting And Watering Newly Planted Trees

You may have various reasons why you are planting a tree. Trees are great for creating privacy in your home; they create shade in your garden and help you contribute to the fight against climate change. Although reasons vary from person to person, it’s common to have some inhibitions while planting a new tree. Young trees are delicate. Some may not survive the transplanting process when moved to a new environment, so it is best to learn the top tips for better awareness when planting a new tree.

watering newly planted trees

  1. Follow Expert Advice

At New Wood Trees, we have over 80 acres of land for our trees.  We will never sell a tree that is not ready to be moved, so, when you are buying a new tree, feel free to ask for some expert advice.  Only take the risk if the professional confirms that the tree is ready to move.

  1. Choose A Suitable Tree

Although you may have set your heart on a particular tree species, it is best to let the idea go if it will not thrive in your garden. Depending on factors like the available space, daily sunlight exposure, weather conditions, and other relevant considerations, an expert can guide you in selecting the most suitable tree for your garden. These factors will significantly contribute to ensuring the tree’s survival rate. 

  1. Find The Right Location

Location is critical for any plant or tree to survive. The factors determining the best spot for the tree include sunlight, proximity to buildings, drainage, power lines, and other trees. A small tree needs ample space to grow to its full size without causing obstructions or damage. 

  1. Dig A Planting Hole

When the tree is ready for planting, dig a wider and slightly shallower hole than its root ball or container, depending on how it was delivered.  Make the hole slightly bigger than the rootball for a snug fit.  This helps to keep the tree upright and also, by not disturbing the soil structure around the rootball, the soil will retain moisture which is vital for the tree’s survival.   Remove any grass, weeds, or rocks in the area when digging the hole, but be gentle if you see any earthworms and other creatures roaming about. Your soil’s biodiversity is essential for growing anything, including a young tree. If you spot insects and other creatures, let them be because they can help bring some much-needed nutrients to the mix. 

  1. Be Careful When Handling A Young Tree

We know that trees that have been around for decades are solid and rooted. Indeed, they can teach us a thing or two about community. However, you must be gentler with young trees. So, when you are about to plant the tree, instead of holding it by its trunk, hold it by the root ball or the container. Be sure to care for its roots too. Gently loosen any packed roots before planting without tearing them off. 

  1. Planting The Right Way

For proper planting, ensure the tree sits at the same depth as it was in its container or root ball. Once you like how the tree looks in its new space, fill the remaining area with the soil left over in the tree’s container. Remember to tap the soil gently to remove air pockets. Although it may be tempting, only add fertilizers or soil amendments at this stage if an expert tells you to do so.  

7. Create a Dam Wall Around The Rootball 

A dam wall around the rootball will help direct the flow of water to where it’s needed most. Use the extra soil from the planting hole, and create a raised ring around the edge of where the rootball is. The stops all the excess water from running away from the tree, and will also help pool rainwater. 

  1. Add Mulch For An Added Layer Of Protection

Organic mulch, such as bark or woodchips, will act as a protective layer for the young tree. Place the mulch around the base to conserve moisture, suppress weed growth and regulate soil temperature. However, keeping the mulch away from the tree’s trunk is crucial to prevent potential moisture-related problems and decay. 

When Should I Start Watering Newly Planted Trees?

Once you set your tree in its new location, it is time to water it. The schedule for watering a tree varies from how often to water plants. Initial watering right after you plant the tree is essential because it helps the soil settle and eliminates any air pockets around the roots. Plenty of water will create moisture around the whole area, including the root ball.

The general rule is to water a newly planted tree once a week during the growing season. During this time, the water will penetrate the soil and help the roots grow towards the moisture. However, not all trees need the same amount of water, so check before bringing the tree home.

Be sure to check the soil’s moisture regularly, especially when the days are hot and arid. Stick your finger around the tree’s root zone for a proper check. If you find the first few inches are dry, it’s an indication that you should water your tree. 

Remember that you must adapt the watering schedule according to the weather. If it rains regularly, skip the weekly watering, but if the days are hot and dry, your tree might benefit from more than weekly watering. 

Practice slow watering for a gentler experience. A soaker hose or drip irrigation method will provide the tree with a slow and steady water supply for a more delicate watering process. Moreover, these gentler processes reduce water waste while water penetrates the root zone more effectively.

Regularly observing the tree is essential to ensure its optimal growth and well-being. See how the tree reacts to the watering schedule you are providing. Are its leaves limp or holding adequately? Learning how your tree should look is how you will learn to adjust its water schedule accordingly.

However, if you are wondering how often you should water plants, know that it depends on the plant, the weather, pot size, and soil type. Outdoor plants require frequent watering, especially when the weather is hot, but as with trees, avoid overwatering plants because it can lead to root rot and diseases.

How Long Does A Tree Take To Grow?

The tree you grow in your garden can outlive you and future generations. Trees can live less than 100 to more than a few thousand years. Accordingly, their growth may take a while, depending on the species, environment, and other factors. 

Plants often grow and bloom rapidly, whereas trees require considerable time to develop, necessitating patience while awaiting visible results. Generally, trees take years, sometimes even decades, to show significant growth. Consider species like poplars or willows that can grow high within a decade for fast-growing trees. Their growth depends on favourable growing conditions, including space available, weather conditions, fertile soil, and proper nutrients. 

In contrast, slow-growing trees include some hardwoods, oaks, and redwoods, which take decades or even centuries to mature fully. A tree adds a new ring of growth yearly to mark another year on this earth. You can see the rings on a cut tree trunk. 

Other Care Tips After Watering A Newly Planted Tree

Once your tree has become comfortable in its new space and you have mastered its watering schedule, you can do other things to help it thrive. Pruning and shaping the tree is one way to show you care. Prune any damaged, dead, or crossing branches to help the tree maintain its shape and health. Pruning helps lower the risk of diseases or structural issues and helps the tree to grow strong. 

It is advisable to use a good, thick, well-rotted bark mulch around the base of the tree as this will help retain the water in the soil and will slowly release nutrients back in to the ground.


Although it takes a lot of patience, time, and care to grow a tree, it is good to remember that this should be an enjoyable experience, not stressful. Trees bring shade, beauty, birds, and other creatures to our gardens. More than that, they remind us that stillness is essential, no matter the weather, and that being slow to grow is not a sin. 

Your newly planted tree requires a long-term commitment. You must follow experts’ instructions if you want this delicate species to grow into a strong entity for future generations to enjoy. While caring for a young tree may seem daunting, it is comforting to know that your efforts are contributing to the fight against climate change.

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