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Pine trees evoke images of holidays and forests growing over mountains. These trees are a favorite among gardeners who wish to bestow year-round green foliage on their landscapes. In addition, pine trees make effective windbreaks for homes in regions that see severe weather. Often, dry spells or winter damage can cause these trees to turn brown. It is essential to provide adequate water for their health and appearance.
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Water your newly planted pine seedling once a week for its first growing season. Give the plant 1 inch of water a week. Measure the square feet of the planting area. One gallon of water will cover 231 square inches with 1 inch of water.
Place your garden hose in a garbage can and allow the water to slowly filter out. Slow watering helps produce deep and strong root systems. Measure how long it takes to provide 1 inch of water. This will tell you how long you need to run water at the root system of your tree down 1 inch.
Place a soaker hose around the tree's drip line and turn on the water at the correct flow as estimated in the previous step. The drip line is the area directly underneath the outer branches of the tree. Run the soaker hose once a week when watering a newly planted tree. Give your mature pine tree water once a week during dry spells when its foliage begins to discolor.
Stop irrigating your newly planted and mature tree in September to help the tree harden off for the winter. Hardening helps the tree survive severe winter conditions such as freezes and frosts. The term hardening off means that you make the tree stronger for harsh winter conditions by preventing it from forming new growth. In addition, hardening off a tree allows the tree to enter dormancy.
Provide water for your newly planted or mature tree once again in late October before the first frost. The tree will already be entering dormancy; therefore, it will not produce new growth. However, moist soil experiences less of a drop in temperature than dry, thus the root system will be better protected.
Avoid over watering your tree, because it causes the tree to grow more quickly than the root system can support.