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Water Question: Can young trees survive on weekly irrigation?

The Sacramento Bee has a Water Question of the Day; Davey's Matt Morgan answers a question on deep-root watering. 

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By Debbie Arrington

Published: April 9, 2014

Q: Our roots are firmly planted in old East Sacramento, where many new trees have been planted when mature, sickly Modesto ash trees were lost. Can our younger trees survive the summer months with once-weekly deep-root watering? And should an older, somewhat sickly tree providing shade be removed to conserve water? – Heidi Boyd, Sacramento

A: Once-weekly deep watering will be important to those trees’ health. And yes, they will survive, even thrive with that approach.

“Deep” watering is key, says Sacramento certified arborist Matt Morgan of Davey Tree Expert Co.

“The top 12 inches of soil is where the roots are,” Morgan said. “Most people run their sprinklers for 7, 8 minutes; that only reaches the top two inches of soil. You need the water to go deeper.”

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