Soil Moisture: The Most Important Factor for the Survival of Newly Planted Trees

The most common cause of death of newly planted urban trees is under- or over-watering. To battle this problem, there are many guidelines written to prescribe how much water for newly planted. However, none of these prescriptions addresses the watering application efficiency: How much water evaporates, runs off, lost via drainage in porous soils, and consumed by weeds instead of the tree? Without this information, the amount of water applied to trees means little. At the same time, most irrigation systems are designed for lawn, not for trees, which need much deeper watering.

The real limitation is in the Plant Available Water (PAW), no matter how much you irrigate the soil or how much rainwater falls on to it. The often compacted soils after construction projects makes it worse. Conventionally, you can’t increase the Field Capacity (FC) without an expensive soil amendment, as it is defined by the texture of the soil. This Webinar will review the key feature of a new irrigation technology: stabilizing soil moisture and significantly boosting the PAW without drowning the plant roots.

In addition, we will also discuss the other factors that may not result in casualty, but greatly impacts the overall plant health and overall growth potential, e.g. road salt, girdling roots and soil compaction.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn the benefits and importance of trees and what they can do to your institution
  2. Study and learn common mistakes and causes of plant death in urban environment, especially newly planted trees.
  3. Learn new technologies that help to solve the problems with the use of natural resources

Relevance to the ongoing COVID 19 Pandemic and why it is important to NOT stop planting trees:

The COVID19 pandemic has greatly impacted the economics and it is not over yet. Tax incomes from local to federal level have been and will be significantly impacted. A widespread budget cut (or a practical cut by inflation) is inevitable. Historically, grounds, parks, urban forestry, and related programs are the first in the line of budget cut targets. Trees can produce a lot of benefits, 2-5 times of their investments based the US Forest Service. But it takes time for them to produce more benefits than the footprint of planting them. That is why the Chinese proverb says: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Saving costs and increasing the survival rate of newly planted trees can help to make a case to the decision makers, which will be an important topic of this talk.

Register for this Webinar