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Care for Young Trees this Summer

News Article
Get some tips and tricks on how to best care for young trees during the hot days of summer.

Get Your Trees Ready for Summer

We are starting to move into longer, warmer, drier days in Portland.

That may mean more fun for many of us, but we need to remember our new and recently planted trees too!

Until the rains return in the fall, trees that have been in the ground for about three years or less will need water each week.

Urban Forestry is here to help you help your trees. Check out our tree care tips, and feel free to reach out to us for more information.


a blue bucket with a person pointing to small holes in the bottom
Using a 5-gallon bucket with holes is an easy method to water trees.
  • Young trees need 15 to 20 gallons of water per week.
  • A deep, slow soak directly on the root zone close to the trunk is the best way to ensure the young roots will be able to use the water.
  • Using a 5-gallon bucket is a good way to water young trees. Pour out water slowly or use a bucket with two or three holes to release the water. Refill the bucket three or four times in a week.
  • When using a hose, leave it running on low for about an hour, or however long it takes to soak down six to eight inches deep.
  • Overwatering can be a problem for trees too. The soil should feel dry or mostly dry about two to four inches down between waterings.


  • Put down a layer of mulch about three inches deep, three feet around the tree, and at least three inches away from the trunk of the tree. Mulch will help a tree retain moisture longer and keep weeds down.
  • Make sure the mulch is not touching the tree trunk. You should be able to see the base of the tree as shown in the photo at the top of the page.

Make a Calendar Reminder to Water

Planting trees is an important first step in growing our urban forest.

Caring for these trees until their roots can get water on their own is just as important. So, why not make a calendar reminder to check your trees once a week? Happy watering!