Simple Way to Check if Your Trees Need Water

Friday, July 31, 2015

A simple test using a screwdriver can help you see if a tree is dried out and needs more water, said Kelly Conroy with the Sacramento Tree Foundation.

"Drive [the screwdriver] into the ground about six inches, and you can feel if the soil is dry and crumbly, then it needs some water, or if it comes up muddy or sticky, then you're probably good to let it dry out for a couple of days," said Conroy.

The screwdriver trick was put it to the test at East Lawn Children's Park near Folsom Boulevard and 42nd street. The test proved that the trees, at this park at least, are parched.

All it takes is one summer without consistent water for a tree to die.

"What you want to do is find the drip line of the tree, so right where the canopy ends up top, that's about where the roots are going to be down here," explained Conroy.

Terrance Davis with the Department of Utilities for the City of Sacramento said younger trees that are less than ten years old need anywhere from 10 to 15 gallons of water per week. One way to do that is to get a soaker hose and run it around the tree; and to make sure the water gets deep enough, you can buy something called a deep drip. You drive it into the ground, and pour water through the top, ensuring the thirsty roots get a drink.