Saving an overwatered tree may seem daunting, but with a little effort and care, you can nurse your tree back to health. Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes that people make when caring for their trees, and it can often lead to death. That’s why the certified arborist at Mountain West Arbor Care would like to discuss the signs of overwatering, how to correct the problem, and ways to prevent it from happening in the future.
Why Do Trees Need Water?
Trees need water for a variety of reasons. Water helps trees transport nutrients and minerals from the soil to the leaves, where they are used for photosynthesis. Water also helps to keep tree leaves cool in hot weather and provides lubrication for the tree’s growth.
What Happens When a Tree is Overwatered?
When a tree is overwatered, the roots are unable to take in oxygen from the soil. This can lead to a number of problems, including:
- Lack of photosynthesis
- Yellowing or wilting leaves
- Mushy or discolored bark
- Fungal growth
These problems can eventually lead to the death of the tree if not corrected.
Steps for Saving an Overwatered Tree
Overall, saving an overwatered tree isn’t a difficult task. If you catch the problem in time, you can follow these steps to get started.
Decrease Water Supply
The first step is to cut back on the amount of water you are giving your tree. If you have been watering it daily, reduce the frequency to every other day. If you have been watering it multiple times per week, reduce the frequency to once a week. It is important to check the soil before watering to ensure it is dry.
A good way to tell if your tree needs water is to stick your finger in the soil about an inch or two below the surface. If the soil feels dry, then you can water your tree. If not, then wait a few more days and check again.
Improve Soil Drainage
If your tree’s roots are constantly sitting in wet soil, they will not be able to get the oxygen they need. To improve drainage, you can:
- Add organic matter to the soil, such as compost or mulch
- Create a raised bed for your tree
- Install a drainage system
These steps will help to ensure that your tree’s roots are not constantly sitting in wet soil.
Prune Dead or Dying Branches
If your tree has dead or dying branches, it is important to have them pruned by a professional arborist. Dead branches can provide a host for pests and diseases, which can spread to other parts of the tree. Pruning also helps to encourage new growth.
Monitor Watering Schedule Closely
Once you have corrected the problem of overwatering, it is important to monitor your watering schedule closely. Make sure to check the soil before watering, and only water when the soil is actually dry.
Relocate the Tree
If you live in an area with a high water table or poor drainage, it may be necessary to relocate your tree. This is a more drastic measure, but it may be the only way to save your tree in the long run.
When Should You Remove an Overwatered Tree?
Sometimes, an overwatered tree is simply too far gone to save. If your tree is showing these signs, it may be time to remove it:
- The leaves are brown and crispy
- The bark is falling off
- The roots are mushy or rotting
If you have tried all the steps above and your tree is still not improving, it may be time to remove it. However, if your tree is still showing signs of life, then there is still hope. With a little bit of effort, you can save an overwatered tree.
Pocatello Tree Care
If you have a tree that needs a little TLC, Mountain West Arbor Care can help. We are experts in Pocatello tree care and will ensure your tree is cared for properly. To learn more about our services or to get a free quote, contact us today by filling out our online form or give us a call at 1.800.767.8733.