Give That Tree a Drink

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Spare a thought for the neighborhood tree in dire need of a drink.

Street trees that are less than three years old are particularly in need of lifesaving water, as their root systems are underdeveloped.

Casey Trees, the nonprofit champion of Washington's urban forest, is urging residents to give trees 10 to 20 gallons of water a week. One approach is to place soaker bags or tubes, available online or at hardware stores and garden centers, around tree trunks. Brands include Treegator and Ooze Tubes. They release up to 45 gallons over a period of as long as two weeks.

Alternatively, you could allow a hose to trickle for half an hour in the tree's root zone, or use a five-gallon bucket with small holes in the bottom.

Casey spokeswoman Catherine Handren said that younger trees are in desperate need of watering but that "right now, everything out there could use a good watering."

Adrian Higgins

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