Marshall Tree Farm

Irrigation Specifications for Establishment

Size of nursery stock Irrigation schedule for vigor Irrigation schedule for survival
> 2 inch caliper Daily for 2 weeks; every other day for 2 months; weekly until established Twice weekly for 2-3 months
2 -4 inch caliper Daily for 1 month; every other day for 3 months; weekly until established Twice weekly for 3-4 months
< 4 inch caliper Daily for 6 weeks; every other day for 5 months; weekly until established Twice weekly for 4-5 months
  1. Delete daily irrigation when planting in winter. Irrigation frequency can be reduced slightly (e.g. 2-3 times each week instead of every other day) when planting hardened-off, field-grown trees that were root-pruned during production. Establishment takes 3 (hardiness zones 10-11) to 4 (hardiness zones 8-9) months per inch trunk caliper.
  2. Irrigation frequency can be reduced slightly (e.g. to once or twice each week) when planting hardened-off, field grown trees that were root-pruned during production.
  3. At each irrigation, apply 2-3 gallons per inch trunk caliper to the root ball. Apply it in a manner so all water soaks into the root ball. Do not water if root ball is wet/saturated on the irrigation day.
  4. Trees take much longer to establish than 3-4 months per inch trunk caliper. Irrigate in drought the following summer.

The above irrigation requirements chart was reprinted from “Typical Tree Bid Specifications for Florida” which was developed by the Florida Urban Forestry Council and Dr. Edward F. Gilman University of Florida, Gainesville.