Since someone forgot to pay the water bill, Mother Nature has shut of the moisture since mid-summer and the trees and shrubs in the area are beginning to suffer.

It would be helpful to give a good soaking a couple of times this fall to help their reserves for the winter.

Even established trees and shrubs in landscape plantings will benefit from supplemental irrigation during periods of drought. Trees that have been planted for three to five years benefit from deep watering on a regular basis.

However, the interval can be extended to two to three weeks between applications. (Check soil moisture as a guide.)

To maintain the vigor of trees that have been growing in place for more than five years, soak the soil to a minimum depth of 12-inches, out to and beyond the drip line, every three to four weeks if it doesn’t rain significantly in the meantime. A rain gauge can be used to accurately measure natural precipitation.

The feeder roots on an established tree will extend well beyond the drip line. They need to be watered as such.

In the case of upright evergreens and other columnar/pyramidal tree varieties, they should be watered beyond their drip line, as the roots may extend to a distance of twice the height of the tree.

Remember, a majority of the of the feeder roots are in the top 12-inches of soil.

Another big problem is watering established trees at the base of the trunk. This proves to be ineffective, as the he absorbing roots are farther out.

For more information on caring for trees, contact the Ford County Extension Office or visit us online at