Aside from being soothing to the eye, trees are excellent at reducing air pollution and air conditioning costs. But they can’t do their job well without proper watering during summer — the hottest, driest time of year here. Serpico Landscaping and the East Bay Municipal Water District have some tips to share for easy, efficient summer watering of trees at home.
At Serpico, we gained our experience by managing tree irrigation for the common areas of many kinds of residential settings, including:
- Homeowner Associations (HOAs)
- Condo Associations
- Apartment and Townhouse complexes
- Commercial business properties
- Municipal and Nonprofit campuses
- Retail facilities
Try these easy ideas for watering trees in your backyard:
- Conserve moisture with a 3- to 5-inch layer of mulch under a tree, except immediately around the trunk area.
- Once a month, coil a soaker hose from the tree’s drip line (the outer edge of its canopy) so that it winds inward about half way to the trunk. Water for 30 minutes, wait and hour, then repeat the process about five times except during peak heat.
- Drill a hole at the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket. Place it inside the tree’s drip line and fill it with warm water. After the water seeps into the soil, relocate the bucket and repeat the process in several sites under and around the tree to water the entire root zone.
Virtues of Trees
Summer is the best time of year for extolling the virtues of trees, among which is their power to cool homes and neighborhoods. Their return on investment isn’t just the aesthetic stuff of poetry. It includes significant savings on energy consumption through their ability to provide shade.
Here are some facts to consider about the ROI of well-maintained trees:
- The net cooling effect of a single, healthy tree equals ten room-sized air conditioners running for 20 hours a day.1
- A tree planted today on the west side of a house reduces energy use by 3% within 5 years and 12% in 15 years.1
- Planting a tree may reduce air particulate by 7 to 24%.2
- Trees can increase property values from 7 to 20%.3
- In urban areas, assuming the cost of planting and maintaining a tree for three years at $250-600, it will return $90,000 in direct benefits over its lifetime.4 (Dan Burden, executive director, Walkable Communities).
Choose What Works for You
As we all know too well in California, there may be plentiful moisture one year and drought the next. Either way, trees need smart watering to make sure they get enough of what they need for healthy growth.
Particularly during dry times, established and newly planted trees need deep, slow watering once a month to a depth of 12 to 18 inches. Doing so trains newly planted roots to grow deeper and for established trees it brings water more directly to the deep root system. Serpico Landscaping does this by attaching water spikes to a hose and injecting water below ground in four to eight places around a tree’s natural drip line.
Of course, if you have an HOA, Apartment Complex, Commercial Business Park, Nonprofit Campus, or Retail Facility you can always contact us at Serpico Landscaping for professional services. We’ll help you learn more about trees and give them the tender loving care they deserve.