Your trees, including the tree in your parkway, are likely stressed from the drought and need to be watered regularly.
Should I fertilize my tree during a drought? Not usually. Salts in fertilizer may burn roots when there is not sufficient water. Fertilizers may also stimulate top growth resulting in too much leaf area on the plant for the root system to maintain during periods of limited soil moisture.
What is the best way to water my tree?
First, make sure the top soil layer doesn’t repel water. If the water beads and runs off, then break the surface soil up and apply a simple solution of soapy water (one tablespoon dish soap added to one gallon of water in a bucket) to the surface to get the soil wet again and ready to absorb water.
Saturate the soil within the “dripline” (the outer edges of the tree’s branches) to disperse water down toward the key roots that deliver water to the tree. A soaker hose laid at the dripline of the tree is an excellent way to apply water. Using a timer device is recommended.
Deep watering to a depth of 12” below the soil surface is recommended. A general rule of thumb is to use approximately 10 gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter for each watering. Watering for short periods of time only encourages shallow rooting which can lead to more drought damage.
How often should I water my tree?
Small trees (1”-7” in diameter) – 3 times per month. Newly planted and smaller trees can get adequate water within the existing watering restrictions by hand watering with a hose and an automatic shut-off nozzle.
Medium trees (8”-15” in diameter) – 3 times per month, in several areas around the tree.
Large trees (16”+ in diameter) – Once every 3 weeks in several areas around the tree.