Evergreen trees are greatly valued because they have green foliage throughout the entire year. If they are planted in the right location, evergreen trees are quite low maintenance but they still can suffer from winter injury or improper fertilizing.
If you’ve just finished planting your evergreen tree, you are going to have to water them regularly for the first year. Give your trees one to three inches of water weekly. The exception to this rule is during periods of intense rainfall. Instead of watering the evergreen trees on a shallow level, it’s best to give them a deep watering once or twice per week.
Table of Contents
- How to Tell if Evergreen Trees Need Water?
- How Do You Know When Your Evergreen Trees are Sufficiently Watered?
- Can You Overwater Evergreen Trees?
- What are the Signs of an Overwatered Evergreen Trees?
- How Long Can Evergreen Trees Go Without Water?
- Should Evergreen Trees Soil Be Moist?
- Why Are Evergreen Trees Turning Brown/Yellow?
- Does Evergreen Trees Need Fertilizer?
- How Much Sunlight Do Evergreen Trees Need?
- Will Evergreen Trees Survive in the Winter?
- Will Evergreen Trees Survive in Direct Sunlight?
- Final Thoughts
How to Tell if Evergreen Trees Need Water?
It is recommended that you use your index finger to check the water level of the soil. Plunge your finger into the earth a few inches away from the root ball and feel how dry it feels beneath the layer of mulch. If the skin is completely dry, it’s time to soak. If the ground is still wet, you’re safe.
Be mindful to water your evergreen trees regularly during the first year after planting. If it doesn’t rain, give the tree one to three inches of water per week to keep it healthy. Long and robust roots can only be achieved through deep watering on a weekly or biweekly basis, rather than more frequent superficial irrigation.
How Do You Know When Your Evergreen Trees are Sufficiently Watered?
Experts recommend performing a soil moisture test using a metal rod. Stick the rod into the ground to see how deep the moisture is. If you reach hard soil faster than 20 inches deep or are dry, you can water the evergreen tree.
Water the trees deeply. Let the soil dry between the waterings. Add water so that it can reach a depth of 20 inches.
Can You Overwater Evergreen Trees?
Yes. Evergreen trees are prone to overwatering. However, it is likelier that evergreen trees will suffer from underwatering than overwatering.
What are the Signs of an Overwatered Evergreen Trees?
One of the signs of overwatering evergreen trees is needle drop in the fall. Note that this could also be due to other causes, including drought and deficiency.
You can also walk around the tree and pay attention to the soil. If you notice the soil is squishy even though there was no rainfall or if you haven’t watered the trees recently, then the tree is likely overwatered.
If the limbs die back, that could also be due to overwatering. Look for brown needles that fall off and are not replaced by green ones. This means the tree is suffering from root rot.
How Long Can Evergreen Trees Go Without Water?
This is a bit tricky to answer. The first reason is that there are many different evergreen tree species out there. The second reason is that evergreen trees usually get all the water they need from rainfall and you might not have to water your evergreen trees at all.
Should Evergreen Trees Soil Be Moist?
You want to maintain soil moisture if you want your evergreen trees to thrive in winter or overcome potential drought conditions. Make mulch using shredded bark or coarse wood chips. You can also mix organic matter and add it to the mulch to further add nutrients to the soil.
Evergreen trees should be watered during dry periods in summer and autumn. If the climate in your area is mild during the winter and the soil doesn’t freeze, water them during the winter as well.
Why Are Evergreen Trees Turning Brown/Yellow?
Don’t be concerned if the oldest needles on your evergreens are turning yellow and falling off; this is normal. There’s nothing wrong, and they’re not all going to die.
However, the browning of the needles is a completely different thing. If you notice severe browning of the needle, it could be due to drought, diseases, pests, or winter desiccation.
Does Evergreen Trees Need Fertilizer?
Evergreen trees are not that demanding in terms of fertilizer. However, you should apply it if you notice that the color and size of the needles aren’t as they should be or new growth is slower than normal.
Apply complete fertilizer and make sure it has more nitrogen than potassium or phosphorus. Fertilize the trees between April and mid-summer. Past mid-summer, only use a slow-release fertilizer.
How Much Sunlight Do Evergreen Trees Need?
This depends on the specific species of the evergreen tree in question. Most species will do just fine in partial to full sunlight. Cyprus trees require full to partial sunlight. Cryptomeria trees also need full to partial sunlight.
Will Evergreen Trees Survive in the Winter?
While evergreen trees are known for being resistant to winter temperatures, they can still suffer damage because of high winds or cold temperatures. Even the winter sun can dry the tree’s foliage. You can protect your evergreen trees come winter to help prevent some of this damage.
Will Evergreen Trees Survive in Direct Sunlight?
A lot of people hear about evergreen trees and think about Christmas trees. Some evergreen trees will thrive in the full sun such as the strawberry madrone (which has dark green foliage and reddish bark).
Understanding the needs of your specific evergreen species is important if you want to master the art of watering it. Remember that the climate in your area plays a very important part in how much water your tree needs.
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Janice is a retired High School teacher who is spending her leisure years keeping busy with all sorts of projects. Aside from freelance writing, she’s an enthusiastic amateur chef, home wine maker, and tends a large raised-bed vegetable garden, while at the same time running a Bed & Breakfast.