The city just planted a sugar maple tree on our lawn (November 26) and we were informed that we need to water it. How long should we water it at this time of the year?


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.

Watering is essential for the successful establishment of new trees.

Here is what the Toronto Master Gardeners guide to planting trees (https://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/gardeningguides/planting-a-tree-a-toronto-master-gardeners-guide/ ) states on watering newly planted trees:

Water everyday for the first week except on the days when it pours rain. Gently pour two large buckets of water over the soil, or turn the hose on dribble and leave it under the tree for as long as it would take to fill two buckets with water.

A sprinkle with the hose for a couple of minutes does more damage than good because this does not provide enough water to penetrate deep into the soil. Sprinkling water in this way will cause the roots to start to grow up towards the moist soil instead of down into the surrounding earth.

After the first two weeks, and depending on the weather, water deeply every two or three days for a couple of weeks, then twice a week for a couple of weeks, and then once a week until frost.

Newly planted trees must be watered regularly for the first two – three years.

You can continue to water your tree until the ground freezes and the soil no longer absorbs the water.

This article provides additional details on watering young trees:  https://extension.umn.edu/planting-and-growing-guides/watering-newly-planted-trees-and-shrubs