A note from one of our rebate recipients:
I talked with our friends at Maple Leaves Forever last week when the leaves on one of the sugar maples I planted along my laneway three years ago took on a wilted appearance. What’s up?
I live and work in the city and escape to my farm on the weekends, so the ability to water my trees is limited.
I used to spend most of Saturday watering trees with a hose or buckets from a tank on my Gator.
I lost 7 trees to drought stress in 2016. Replaced them with container grown trees in 2017 and tried to keep the replacement trees and the remaining originals watered as best I could.
Still lost 2 of these and 2 more from the original planting in 2017. Trees need water to survive.
Maple Leaves Forever suggested I get some ”tree watering bags” for the trees I planted this year and to continue to water the trees I planted in 2017. It takes 2 – 3 years for a tree to grow new roots and get established in their new environment. They said the older trees should be watered every week to ten days during hot, dry weather conditions.
Tree watering bags are available from several sources with brand names like “Treegator” and “Oasis”. They can be a savior for absentee landowners.
Our tree expert Carl Mansfield replies:
Several brands of tree watering bags have come onto the market the past few years. Treegator® patented the concept.
Below are pics of the two most popular slow-release tree watering bags available here in Ontario. Prices range from $24.99 for Oasis at CTC to $29.99 for the Treegator Original Tree Watering Bags at Amazon.ca (cheapest price from several suppliers). These bags have a maximum capacity of 20 US gallons (75.7 L) and empty their contents over a 4 – 6 hour period with no run-off or evaporation.
A commonly used formula suggests a recently planted tree needs 10 gallons of water per week for every 1 inch of tree caliper, so be careful not to overfill these bags when watering smaller caliper trees.
And here’s a DIY tree watering option that we have shared with a few MLF customers!
They may not be as aesthetically pleasing as the green tree watering bags but they are as durable, and can have a comparable slow-release rate. With a capacity of 5 US gallons (19 L), a 1 inch caliper tree needs 2 buckets of water per irrigation with the second bucket being placed opposite the trunk position of the first bucket. Material cost – $7.00 per bucket.