There is no question that trees can enhance the curb appeal of your home. However, they can’t tell you when they have had too much water, or when they may be dying – literally – of thirst. For those who are tree-savvy, though, there are a few tell-tale signs an issue may be present. Trees have a way to provide subtle clues.
Getting to know what these clues are and then watching for them is the best way to ensure a tree remains healthy. Get to know the signs of an over or under watered tree here.
The Difference in Under and Over Watering Trees
Both over and under watering a tree can be dangerous. However, each of these issues can lead to a different set of problems.
Signs You are Under Watering Your Trees
- Curling or wilted leaves that turn brown at the edge or tips.
- A sparse color canopy and undersized leaves, yellowing leaves or leaf scorch.
- Early leaf drop or untimely fall color.
Signs You are Over Watering Your Trees
- The leaves are green by they are extremely fragile and may break easily
- The new growth on the tree withers before it has the chance to fully grow, or it becomes light yellow or green.
- The ground around the tree is always wet.
How to Know if Your Tree is Getting Too Much or Too Little Water
In both situations, both over and under watering, the symptoms trees show may be similar. The good news is, there are two ways you can figure out if your tree is in need of more, or less, water.
The first method is to use a long screwdriver and insert it into the soil beneath the tree. If it is too hard to do, then your tree will need more water. The other method is to dig six to eight inches below the tree and grab some soil. It should feel moist and cool. If the soil is completely soaking wet, then it means you are overwatering. If it isn’t sandy or drenched, roll it into a ball. If the ball crumbles, then your tree will need more water. Poke the ball of soil and if it doesn’t budge, then you likely have clay soil.
How You can Fix or Save an Over Watered Tree
If you have discovered your tree has been over watered, then it is struggling to breathe. The extra water is going to be taking over the air pockets in the soil, which means the roots of the tree are getting too much water and not enough oxygen. This can lead to stress, fungi and root rot. To fix these issues do the following:
- Don’t water the tree for a few weeks.
- If you have clay soil, mix some compost into help it drain.
- Inspect around the tree to see why water is pooling after it rains and take steps to correct the problem.
If you still can’t figure out the problem related to whether or not you are over or under watering your tree, contact the professionals. They will be able to help you figure out what you need to do to help you tree remain healthy.