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Lawn sprinklers or good ole-fashioned rain will not supply adequate water for your new tree. 

Expect to water once a week when temperatures are between 50-85 degrees.  When temps reach above 85 degrees, water 2x a week.

A good rule of thumb when watering: frequency isn't as important as quantity, so you'll need to make sure to give the root ball a very heavy soaking! We encourage everyone to lay a water hose at the base of the tree and leave the water running for about 30 minutes at a pencil-thin flow. 

Below are 2 charts:

1. Shows correct methods for watering.

2.  Is a watering chart for Spring, Summer, & Fall.

How to Care for Your
Newly Planted Tree

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Spring-Fall Watering

Watering Method Guide

Watering Chart

Winter Watering




The single most important factor for your new tree's survival is keeping the soil moist for the next year. Until the tree grows roots into the "new" soil, it is dependent on the moisture from the original soil ball. In fact, a root ball can become dangerously dry within 1-2 days after being planted! We'll explain how much to water, how often water, and how to water! We'll also discuss seasonal maintenance for your trees and how to keep them moist in the hot summer and healthy in the cold winters!. 


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During the winter, keeping your tree watered is just as important! You just don't have to do it as often as the Spring and Summer months.

Our general rule of thumb is to water TWICE a month when: 

1. There is NO snow cover

2. When soil and air temps are 40 degrees or more

When watering:

1. Water during the warmest part of the day: 10am-2pm

2. Water enough to reach 6-12 inches down into the root ball. 

3. Water at the base of the tree; NEVER from the top. The sun can catch the water drops and cause burning on your tree leaves.

4. Water slowly using any of the methods mentioned above!

*BONUS TIP: If your soil is cracked, water twice to help the crack swell and then dry closer together for better water retention. *


Leaf wilt, leaf drop, leaf burn, tip die back, or premature leaf change, you could be watering incorrectly.


Whether preparing for colder weather or simply looking for ways to further protect your new tree, mulch is great for both. Applying mulch helps retain moisture and also helps prevent freezing and thawing of the soil that can cause plants to heave above the ground and dry out. 

Benefits to wood mulch:

  • Decreases soil compaction

  • Allows for weed control

  • Consistent soil moisture

  • Provides a buffer from fluctuating temperatures 

  • Decreases damage from mowers

When applying mulch, spread it out to cover slightly beyond the root ball,


keep the mulch 6" away from the base of the trunk, and apply it at a


minimum depth of 1-2". If planting a dogwood tree, make depth 2-4".​


Sunscald typically occurs on a sunny winter day or early spring day when the sap below the surface thaws out. If there is a sudden drop to freezing temperatures, the sap will freeze, expand, and cause the bark to split. Usually occurs on the south or southwest side of the trunks. In order to protect new trees against this type of damage, we encourage wrapping the trunk. We supply tree wrap at Carson's Nurseries and will gladly help explain how to use it and protect your new trees! We typically suggest wrapping new trees from November-April. If sunscald does occur, do NOT spray or apply any sealants to the damaged area. Let the tree heal naturally and depending on the range of damage, the tree can heal in 2-3 years. 


Unless your tree will be in high winded areas or needs the support, it is not recommended to stake any trees. 

For more information, 

you can call the store at 417-882-5200, email us at, or send us a message on Google or Facebook!

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