UKTC Archive

RE: [EXTERNAL] Watering trees during the establishment phase

Subject: RE: [EXTERNAL] Watering trees during the establishment phase
From: Howe, Ron
Date: Feb 10 2020 13:57:48

Our contracts used to specify that 12-14 Extra Heavy Standard Trees (which is 
what we mainly planted) were given 25 litres per week in times of extreme dry 
weather conditions subject to a special request and it was done on day rates. 
A couple of Gangs would go around with 500 litre towed bowsers and that 
doesn't go very far.

The contractors had to get special licences from the EA to extract water from 
the River Mole because of hose-pipe bans and so on ... obviously, we used 
watering tubes and mulch mats etc.. Otherwise, most of our trees, spread 
about various sites just have to make their own way in life so, we did a 
focussed approach. If you get an extreme dry summer you have to accept some 
tree losses. As others have said, it is a black art and you need to be 
reasonable. The practicalities of private gardens and estates and public 
trees are completely different. If you don't attempt to preserve water with 
mulch and things then you're flogging a dead horse.


Ron Howe
Tree Officer (Planning)
Mole Valley District Council
Tel. 01306 XXX XXX

-----Original Message-----
From: <> 
On Behalf Of Ben Rose
Sent: 09 February 2020 13:54
To: UK Tree Care <>
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Watering trees during the establishment phase

Warning: email from outside of MVDC - if in any doubt do not open links or 
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So recently I read a specification produced by a large and well-respected 
landscape architecture firm that recommended watering semi-mature trees with 
'5 litres of water as and when required'. I set them straight but it made me 
realise that there isn't much clear guidance out there.

I'm now putting together my own guide and have come up with the attached 
table. I would be interested to hear what others think about what I'm 
suggesting. Any comments would be welcome, on or off forum.

Also, I'd be very grateful if anyone was willing to share their irrigation 
specifications with me so that I can hopefully produce a practical guide.

Thanks in advance,


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