September 7, 2011 8:55pm
|Thanks, Humby. We've added a link since you brought it to our attention, but here's the information:
Watering tips that can help you nurse your trees through the drought:
* Before you drag out the hose, check for and follow local water restrictions, which often are enacted during a prolonged drought. In San Antonio, for example, residents can water just one day a week during early morning and late evening hours.
* Well-established, valuable, mature trees should be watered every week or two during times of major drought.
* When you water, do so deeply "” 6 to 8 inches into the soil under the foliage of the tree. Avoid shallow, frequent watering. You can measure the depth with a long screwdriver; taking note of how easy it slides into the soil.
* The easiest way to give your tree a good, deep soak is with a soaker hose or sprinkler system. A mature tree needs about an inch of water "” or 60 gallons per 10-foot by 10-foot area "” every week or two.
* Time your sprinkler or soaker hose so you"™ll know how long to run them. With a sprinkler, place an empty tuna or cat food can near the tree and time how long it takes to fill it up. With a soaker hose, curl it up inside a kiddie pool, let it run for a set period of time and then measure how much water is released.
* Young, newly-planted trees should be watered three times a week. During each watering, they need 5 gallons of water for every inch of stem "” or trunk "” diameter, which is measured 6 inches above the ground. So if your tree measures 6 inches in diameter, that"™s 30 gallons of water, three times each week.
* Water should be concentrated at the base of a new tree, which is why water bags are ideal. If you don"™t have access to them, drill a few holes in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket, place it next to the tree, fill it up and let the water slowly drain out.
* Generally, a tree is considered established about two to three years after planting, but the ongoing, extreme drought is causing some older trees to struggle. Keep a close eye on any trees planted within the last seven years.
* Another option is to reduce your watering needs by removing plants that surround your tree. Grass and trees often fight for available water. Replacing that grass "” especially around new trees "” with a 6-foot diameter, 2-inch deep circle of mulch can help keep moisture on the ground and available to the tree.