1 May 2024
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Have you chosen to water your street tree but need help figuring out where to start? In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about street tree watering.

Why does watering my tree matter?

As temperatures rise over spring and summer, and the air is drier, regular watering is crucial for newly planted street trees.

During their early years, street trees face many challenges adapting to their urban environment. Sufficient water during this period will help them to grow strong. It can mean the difference between life and death.

How much water does MY TREE need?

Young street trees need a minimum of 50 litres of water weekly to thrive, and even more during dry summers. That’s approximately five standard watering cans.

What can I use to water my tree?

Repurposed containers

You don’t have to have a watering can to water your tree. Street trees are happy to drink from plastic bottles, buckets or whatever container you have on hand. Opting for reused plastic bottles keeps your tree hydrated and helps the environment!

Making the most of greywater

Did you know you can use greywater from your washing up, baths and showers to water trees? While you can get very technical and set up diverter valves on your drainpipes, there’s an easy way to start. Just save the water from your dishwashing and use it to give your trees a drink – no need for anything fancy!

Using a hose

Hoses, while sometimes controversial and subject to restrictions during water shortages, can be a practical option for watering street trees that need large amounts of water. What’s more, as you can control the flow of water you can minimise water waste.

During hot or dry spells, hosepipe bans may be enforced so we recommend checking with your water provider to see if your area is affected.

How do I water my tree?

If the tree has a watering tube

If your tree is fitted with a watering tube, pour half the water down the tube, and the other half around the tree trunk.

Here’s Tom from our parent charity, Trees for Cities, demonstrating how to water a tree with a tube:

If the tree has a watering bag

Your tree may come with a watering bag featuring slits near the top, often located under a label, for pouring water. This double-lined bag retains water and releases it gradually.

Also, it’s a good idea to water the area around the tree’s base.

If the tree has no accessories

Simply water around the trunk slowly. Ensure that whatever amount you give the tree can soak away within 10 minutes to avoid leaving puddles behind.

tree watering dos and don’ts

  • Do water at the right time:  Water in the morning or evening, when it’s cooler, to maximise absorption of water before it evaporates in the sun.
  • Do provide adequate water: Make sure your tree receives 50 litres of water weekly during the summer. This works out as 5 standard watering cans or 25 empty 2 litre drink bottles.  Get your neighbours to help and you’ll be done in no time!
  • Do water efficiently: If the tree has a watering pipe, pour half of the water down the pipe and the other half on the ground around the tree trunk. If the tree has a watering bag, simply fill that. There is a small slit near the top as the bag is double lined, and it will gradually release the water – giving the soil time to soak up.
  • Do build a routine: Get into the habit of regular watering. Whether it’s joining in on #WateringWednesday or providing a daily watering from Monday to Friday, consistency is the key. Alternatively, you can do it all at once during the weekend, ensuring the tree receives a good long drink.
  • Don’t rush watering: If watering all at once, take your time and allow the tree to absorb the water slowly, ensuring effective hydration and preventing runoff.

Join us for #WateringWednesday

Every Wednesday from May to September we remind our sponsors how crucial it is to water their trees during the summer months.

Join us on Instagram, X, and Facebook for more watering tips, and send us your tree watering photos!

Ready to sponsor your next tree?