Seasonal notes

Our Watering Recommendations for New Trees

Our Watering Recommendations for New Trees

You have selected a tree from Ellenby Tree Farm, 90% of the work has been done by us and all the tree needs now is 10% from you to ensure it remains healthy.

Our watering policy at the nursery is to water each tree once a day, on hot and windy days it is twice a day. Once the trees leave the nursery they need to be watered with the same frequency, which would be very gradually reduced to twice a week after the first year. Everyone thinks they water their trees with heaps of water. Watering with a general irrigation programme in the garden is not enough.

We recommend that the trees get 2 litres of water for every 10 litres of tree root ball per day, administered directly to the rootball every day for the first year. For example a 100L tree would need 20L of water, which is approx. 2 buckets full. You need to ensure that the water penetrates the rootball down to 500mm. Do not rely exclusively on lawn or garden sprinklers.

You can tell if the tree is wet enough by getting a piece of PVC pipe, sharpening one end and driving it into the ground at the base of the tree to the bottom of the root ball. If this core of soil is wet – well and good, if not then the tree is not getting deep enough watering. You can also tell a tree is stressed by lack of water if the leaves start turning yellow or curling up while on the tree and then falling off, especially the inside leaves which are the older leaves.

To ensure the rootball is wet, apply a soil wetting agent and a liquid fertiliser (Seasol®). Never fertilise the tree with normal fertiliser if it is stressed.

The above watering programme is for tap water. If using bore water check for pH of water to make sure it is neutral and salt levels are not too high. If not, contact a water specialist.

If you have any queries regarding water or care of new trees, please do not hesitate to contact us either by phone 9405 4558 or email