Your trees need TLC


TLC for treesIt’s the picture of summer: kicking your feet up and relaxing under a leafy tree. What would we do without our majestic maples and stately sycamores? They improve air quality, keep homes cool and make a patio or yard the perfect place to unwind.

But after four years of drought, trees are feeling the stress. It’s time to give them tender loving care (which is possible even during a drought.) Smart watering methods are key to saving trees and saving water. For established trees, water deeply and slowly, once a month, getting the water to seep down about 12 to 18 inches. Doing so trains roots to grow deeper.

Tree care tips

Choose what works for you! 

TLC for plants

  • Blanket the area under your trees, avoiding the trunk area, with a three- to five-inch layer of mulch, which seals moisture in.
  • Install a drip irrigation system that works like a soaker hose, with drip holes spaced about a foot apart.
  • Coil a soaker hose from the tree’s drip line, circling inward about half way to the trunk. Turn the hose on for 30 minutes and then wait an hour. Repeat about five or six times in a day, avoiding the day’s peak heat. Do this once a month. 
  • Try this easy method: Get a five-gallon bucket, drill a hole in the bottom and place it within the tree drip line. Fill it with warm-up water from the shower or kitchen. The water will seep deep into the soil. Move the bucket and refill to water the entire root zone. 

More tree tips from EBMUD's landscape experts 

Document Type Size
Caring for Trees in Drought Guide PDF <1 MB