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How much water for new trees?

Steve, I just recently read a column in my local suburban paper by you and was thrilled to read the topic was on new trees. I had 2 planted in April, a redbud and an apple serviceberry. Neither came with any instructions about watering. The redbud has a circumference of 5 inches and the serviceberry 5 1/2 inches. Please give me an idea of how much and often to water them. Our season has been very hot and dry the past 6 weeks. Also are new trees not to be fertilized for a couple years? Should I be doing root stimulator applications on them both and for how long? While on trees topic when is the best time to have Bradford trees prunes? Thank you for this valuable service to get information from a pro. Will certainly look for your column from now on and will file your address in my address book. Thanks again.

Answer: Hi Thanks for the compliments. You can continue to get our weekly column if you register as a member on the site. Also I do operate a nursery that has been in business for over 23 years. By becoming a member you can get member discounts on the products we offer. Membership link, click here to join. http://www.landsteward.org/page.cfm/1739

To answer your questions. The best rule of thumb for new trees is to make sure the root ball is moist until the tree or shrub grows through the first season. To do this you can purchase a product from a manufacture called Jobe. They manufacture a tree spike that attaches to a regular garden hose. Directions come with the spike. Or if you cannot find this product take a 1 to 2 inch pvc pipe and hammer into the root ball but at the farthest point form the trunk of the tree. Make sure to not hammer into any large root of the new tree. Make sure the root ball is damp at least once a week during the first season. A lot of folks think by watering the top of the ground that the roots of the tree are getting watered and that is simply not the case. To prove it to yourself, water the ground for a few minutes then dig down to see how far the water has traveled. You will be amazed at how short a distance the water will travel.

You can fertilize your new trees with a fertilize that stimulates root growth. Ask for it at your local garden center.

Best time to trim any trees are when they are dormant. Late fall when they drop their leaves or early spring before the leaves appear.

Best regards Steve

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