The water of life: The Tree People

Water is one of life’s essentials for trees and gardens of all sizes.

Professional, experienced arborists, The Tree People care about trees, believing it to be both an art and a science. Here are some of their water saving tips:

– Helps to keep moisture in the soil, and slows evaporation. It helps to reduce weeds, and keeps the soil temperature cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
– Adds nutrients to the soil, helps retain water in sandy soils, and improve drainage in clay soils.
– Provides cover and protection while nutrients break down.

Plant choice
– Choose drought tolerant trees, or those that have low watering requirements such as natives as they have adapted to survive using natural rainfall amounts.
– Choose plants based on soil type and indigenous vegetation to the area. This website may be a useful resource –
– Utilise taller trees and plants to provide shade and shelter to smaller or new plants until they get established.
– Container plants usually dry out faster and will need more frequent water. Choose pots that are glazed so moisture isn’t lost through the sides of the pot. Alternatively use a liner to provide a barrier that reduces the amount of water lost.

New Plants

– When planting consider using water storage crystals or gels mixed into the soil as these help to retain moisture and distribute water more evenly.
– New plants (less than 1 year old) will require more frequent watering whilst their root system becomes established. Where possible help them to grow by placing them in areas where other plants will provide some shelter.
– When planting, consider grouping water thirsty plants together to avoid overwatering those that don’t need quite so much water. Planting in groups rather than rows is a more efficient way
to water than watering over a long row.
– Add a flat mulch ring around the tree (like a donut). To keep the tree healthy avoid mulching in
a mound. Mulch that touches or covers the trunk or stem of the tree may cause decay in the living bark.

-Use irrigation lines or soaker hoses with automated tap timers that aim directly into the soil. Water is quickly evaporated off the leaves meaning very little water reaches the soil and into the roots where it’s needed.
-The best time of day to water is the morning when temperatures are usually cooler. Watering in the morning allows excess water time to dry out and minimises the amount of water sitting in the soil or around the roots. Wet leaves or water-logged roots are more susceptible to a range of diseases.
-Aim for slow watering to encourage roots to grow deep into the soil where the ground is cooler.
-If watering on a slope do so in slower, shorter bursts to allow time for the water to soak in rather than run off.
-To test if your soil needs watering, simply stick a finger into the soil. If the soil is dry two inches below the surface, you need to water, or if you see wilting leaves.
-Now is an ideal time to seek advice from a trusted tree professional.

For a free quote call 03 384 9630, or visit the website below.

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