How much to water trees varies with soil conditions, type of tree, size, etc.. The list goes on and our focus here in
Charlotte is our current drought. I have watched several thunder storms go around my house, and we have had very little rain since May and it is now July 25th, 2015. (no water here until August 11th; then got 1 1/2 inches)
Our drought is nothing like drought out Western states or in Texas. The very arid parts of the country have to be at the top of their game just to get shade trees to survive. I plan to do more research, but one of the most comprehensive articles I found was published by Colorado State University. I know that’s not Charlotte, but they really cover most of the bases. Most of the other articles you might read will list a few of the things they point out. One interesting difference they suggest that trees be watered five gallons for every inch diameter and not one inch as Tim Porter suggest. In extreme conditions one will have to do things differently. Being able to measure the amount of water applied, becomes critical. Remember our clay soil does not drain well so if you leave the hose running on the newly planted tree, the hole will fill with water and drown the tree.
Here is the link to Caring for Trees During Drought.
We are very fortunate in the southeast US because our prevailing winds in the summer come from the Gulf of Mexico which carries moist air to us. We are not dependent on Snow Pack, Glaciers, large underground aquifers such as the Ogallala Aquifer which is under seven western states.
We usually have good rains in the winter and soil moisture builds up to capacity. As the season progresses, this water is used by the vegetation. That is one reason the large trees have not shown much signs of drought around here up to this point. If our drought continues, large, medium, and small trees will be affected. Trees that have been in the ground for less then five years could continue to suffer. It is also logical to add that if we lose a a one year old tree it can be replaced in a year. If we lose a 5 year old tree we will lose 6 years because it takes that long at least to remove the old tree, plan for the replacement and then finally schedule the planting. If you lose a ten year old tree than you lose ten years plus. This and other good information is in the Caring for Tees During Drought.
Mulch More on this later with photos, but only put 3 to 4 inches on the roots and keep it at least 6 inches from the trunk.. Mulch holds in moisture which is a good thing but if the mulch is up against the trunk, dampness will allow fungi and other organisms to enter the tree.
How Long Does it Take for the Root System to Recover After Planting.
Sunday Morning... July26th. There is more to be added which I will do today with more followup. I was anxious to get this message out and hope the information is helpful. Come back and take a look.