deep watering trees in drought

Asked June 29, 2015, 11:25 PM EDT

Two different ways to deep water trees in our Southern California drought have been suggested. One is to put a soaker hose around the dripline of the tree and water for 8-10 hours. The other is to dig a couple 2 foot holes under the tree and install a spike connected toa hose that waters at that level. Which is better for the tree?

Los Angeles County California

2 Responses

Dear gardener,

Thank you for contacting us. The dripline approach is best since it delivers a slow, steady stream that soaks down through the soil. Digging below a tree does not place the water where it is needed. The majority of the trees feeder roots are located in the top 18 inches of soil. What's more, digging near the roots can damage or kill the tree.

Thank you, Lynne Marie. We are adopting the dripline approach at Pilgrim Place Retirement Community in Claremont, California as we convert our landscape to be drought tolerant. Many other groups and institutions in our area look to us for advice so your counsel will be multiplied many times.