Plants use water for many life processes, including photosynthesis, so the availability of water to meet a plant's needs deserves consideration before planting. The bulk of the effort you spend irrigating your apple tree will occur when the tree is young. Mature trees generally provide for their own water needs.
If you purchase a bare-root apple tree, you should soak the roots for a half-hour in water before planting. Choose a site with good drainage; while your tree needs water, it will drown if the roots are constantly immersed. After you plant the apple tree, saturate the soil around the root zone with water. This gives the tree its first good drink and removes air pockets from the soil.
Young trees need extra attention with respect to watering. The Ohio State University Extension recommends providing one gallon of water per week until the apple tree reaches maturity. Keeping the area around the apple tree mulched and weed-free also helps to conserve water.
Once apple trees reach maturity, they no longer require irrigation except during drought periods. However, you should ensure that your tree receives at least an inch of water per week, according to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. Do not allow apple trees to go more than three weeks without water.
- Photo Credit Apple-tree image by Beausoir from Fotolia.com
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