How can we keep newly-planted trees watered where there is no water access?
In the next week or so, we plan to plant a variety of native trees in a common area near our community playground. They'll range in price from $50 to $100 each, so they won't be tiny. We will mulch them conservatively and stake them loosely. The problem is that there's no water access to the area. We're wondering whether plastic watering bags will be helpful, especially when summer rolls around. If not, do you have any other suggestions for keeping them properly watered?
St. Mary's County Maryland
The gator bags sound like a good plan. They put the water where it is needed into the root ball where the roots are. Research has shown that the most important step after planting is regular watering during the first two years for proper establishment. If using water bags, do not allow all the water to be lost before refilling them. Irrigation needs to be directed to the base of the plant to insure the root ball receives adequate water.
Usually it is not recommended to stake newly planted trees. An exception is If the tree is unusually large or is planted in a windy area. Then staking or guying may be needed for the first year. Remove after this point.
For more information see our website on tree selection, purchasing, planting, and care https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/trees-and-shrubs/selection-purchasing-planting-and-care