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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:29 pm 
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Hi, I planted a Shumard Oak in my front yard about a week ago and within the first week I watered it twice with about 4 gallons of water total ( 2 gallons each time, once on tuesday the 2nd and once on sunday the 7th ). Haven't watered it since. Today it looks kinda sick ( the leaves in particular ).

Am I maybe putting too much water or is it normal? I also had the sprinklers go off on thursday and on sunday. It's been super hot ( 90*-95* with zero rain where I live, which is Keller, TX by the way ).

Any recommendations?

Here are some pictures:
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:30 pm 
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It also may be hard to notice but the root flare is immediately under the mulch so it's slightly exposed from the dirt.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:00 am 
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What else did you do when you planted it? Did you soak the root ball for an hour or more after taking it out of the pot? And did you untangle the roots a bit and spread them out to avoid circling and girdling roots?

Did you plant the tree in just the native dirt, and position it fairly high without adding fertilizer or compost or other kinds of soil to the hole? How is the drainage?

I couldn't say if X-number of gallons of water are enough or too much. This isn't a particularly good time of year to plant trees, but sometimes needs must, and (full disclosure) I planted a whole bunch in my yard in July within months of moving into this house in 2002. I lost a couple of them then, probably because of the mistakes mentioned above - not soaking and unwrapping, and also probably by having them too deep and having not made the hole wide and shallow and spreading out the roots.

Trees sometimes look a bit stressed after they are planted. The amount of water you put on the surrounding turf should be enough for the tree, once it is established, if you water deeply a couple of times a week. During the next few hot months you may want to pour on water up to four times a week, supplementing rain and the lawn watering schedule.

If you didn't loosen the root ball go ahead and do it now - pull the tree back out and add some compost tea (Garrett Juice) to a bucket of water and let it soak and loosen that dirt from around the roots in the pot. Sometimes the dirt is so compacted that it acts like an impermeable pot itself, not letting water soak into the roots no matter how much you water. That's why you need to untangle the roots, be sure you've removed all of the extra dirt from the flare, and reposition it in the hole before covering with the native dirt.

Good luck!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:09 pm 
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northwesterner wrote:
What else did you do when you planted it? Did you soak the root ball for an hour or more after taking it out of the pot? And did you untangle the roots a bit and spread them out to avoid circling and girdling roots?

Did you plant the tree in just the native dirt, and position it fairly high without adding fertilizer or compost or other kinds of soil to the hole? How is the drainage?

I couldn't say if X-number of gallons of water are enough or too much. This isn't a particularly good time of year to plant trees, but sometimes needs must, and (full disclosure) I planted a whole bunch in my yard in July within months of moving into this house in 2002. I lost a couple of them then, probably because of the mistakes mentioned above - not soaking and unwrapping, and also probably by having them too deep and having not made the hole wide and shallow and spreading out the roots.

Trees sometimes look a bit stressed after they are planted. The amount of water you put on the surrounding turf should be enough for the tree, once it is established, if you water deeply a couple of times a week. During the next few hot months you may want to pour on water up to four times a week, supplementing rain and the lawn watering schedule.

If you didn't loosen the root ball go ahead and do it now - pull the tree back out and add some compost tea (Garrett Juice) to a bucket of water and let it soak and loosen that dirt from around the roots in the pot. Sometimes the dirt is so compacted that it acts like an impermeable pot itself, not letting water soak into the roots no matter how much you water. That's why you need to untangle the roots, be sure you've removed all of the extra dirt from the flare, and reposition it in the hole before covering with the native dirt.

Good luck!


I didn't plant it myself but the person who did laid some kind if mineral rich soil first into the hole, untangled the roots and then placed it in the hole. Then the rest of the hole was filled with the native soil. He did water it but I wouldn't say he soaked the root ball. It is planted pretty high so I don't think depth is the problem.

It's been super hot lately and in my mind it just needs MORE water but I don't know how sensitive this tree is to water so I'm kind of scared.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:23 pm 
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Overwatering is as big a problem (perhaps bigger) than overwatering.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:13 pm 
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northwesterner wrote:
Overwatering is as big a problem (perhaps bigger) than overwatering.


I'm confused by this...lol. Over or underwatering?

How can I know if I'm doing over or under?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:49 am 
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Howard recommends making yourself a probe. He favors a golf club with the head broken off. If you poke that into the ground around the tree you should quickly be able to feel if the ground is very hard (too dry) or moist enough. If it's too wet, the probe will also show you by being muddy or showing that the soil is soggy.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:12 am 
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Thanks, I'll check that out.


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