Column: Don’t forget to water trees


Commentary by Daren Mindham

The Carmel Forestry Program wants to encourage you to water your trees during a dry summer. It is essential that your street trees are watered during dry periods, especially those trees planted in the last few years. Newly planted trees do not have the extensive root systems that mature trees have developed over time, so they struggle more for a drink during hot summer days.

Watering trees is easy to do. If your trees have been recently mulched, it is crucial that the mulch be positioned like a berm around the tree to create a basin for watering. “Volcano-shaped” mulch promotes water runoff instead of allowing water to soak toward the roots. If the trees have not been mulched recently, be sure to water enough to soak the roots thoroughly and as far out as the tree crown.

Trees should be watered at least twice a week during dry periods so the soil is moist at least 4 to 6 inches deep. If you have irrigation in these areas, make sure the settings are specifically set to water deep enough for trees.

Daren Mindham is the urban forester for the City of Carmel. Learn more at


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