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Watering & Care For Established Trees
Is your irrigation system all you need?
You already know how to water the plants in your landscape that are established, right? Or do you? Many homeowners assume they know how to water their yard and trees. The sprinkler system is on an automatic schedule. What more do you need? Unfortunately, this approach can cause your trees a lot of trouble.
Enough water for trees?
Trees, especially large established trees, will often need a deeper soaking that your irrigation system won’t provide. Remember, if the sprinkler heads around your trees are set to water a lawn, then there won’t be enough water for the tree. Adding soaker hoses around your established trees is a good way to deliver the extra water they need when temperatures are warm. Read more here for additional tips on the best way to provide extra water for your trees.
To avoid pitfalls, it is necessary to understand what your irrigation system is actually doing, instead of relying on it alone to take care of your entire landscape. While an automated irrigation system can make the task of watering much easier and more efficient, it still requires your monitoring and input to provide optimum care for your trees. It’s best to have your system audited by a professional licensed irrigator.
First, you need to run a few test cycles each season to be certain that each irrigation head is functioning properly and that you don’t have leaks. Areas that don’t receive enough water from sprinklers can dry out; areas that receive too much can drown your plants. This could send your lawn and shrubs into decline, or cause damage to an established tree. Knowing how much water your irrigation system is putting out is also crucial to tree and landscape health. It will depend on your water pressure and how your irrigation system is designed.
Even though the best time to water is between 5am and 10am, there are still a number of people running sprinklers overnight, when they might not observe a problem. Not to mention, running sprinklers at night can cause fungal disease to run rampant. The morning light and air allow plant foliage to dry more quickly, reducing the spread of fungal spores.