How to Tell Whether Your Tree Needs Water: Top 5 Signs

When caring for your trees, it can be difficult to tell whether your tree needs water. The truth is, no two trees are the same, and a combination of factors may contribute to how often they need watering. Thankfully, knowing the contributing factors and specific signs and symptoms can help you identify when it’s time to water your tree.

Younger trees use more energy for the growth process and establishing their roots, requiring more water for the first few years. Younger trees may need water twice a week, while mature trees thrive with deep watering rather than high frequency. Weather and climate conditions, soil, size, and the type of tree also play a role in the amount of water your tree needs.

Reach out to the best tree service in Davie by Go Pro Professional Property Care for additional service to keep your outdoor sanctuary thriving.

Top 5 Signs Your Tree Needs Water

Familiarize yourself with the signs your tree exhibits when it needs water or rainfall. Mature trees tend to have deeper roots and can withstand adverse weather conditions, but without adequate rainfall, they may need a little pick-me-up.

Fun fact: Your average mature tree can process approximately 11,000 gallons of water in a growing season and release it back into the air.

Soil Test

Use your finger or a screwdriver to dig into the soil about two to three inches by the tree roots and assess its moisture level. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water your tree. If the soil feels wet, hold off on watering and reassess in a few days. Tip: Take a pinch of dirt and roll it around in between your fingers—if the soil sticks together, that’s a sign it has enough moisture.

Wilting Leaves

Take notice if the leaves of the tree are starting to brown near the edges and are beginning to wilt or curl.


If there are off-colored groupings of leaves, your tree could be lacking water. Yellowing of leaves is also an indicator of water deficiency, but be sure it’s not a symptom of overwatering your tree.


Lack of water can cause leaves to look premature. Stems, roots, and fruits may shrink and cause radial cracks in the tree trunk.

Premature Fall Transition

If the leaves of the tree are changing in color and dropping prematurely during the fall season, it could be a sign your tree needs watering.

Be Sure You Aren’t Overwatering Your Tree

Overwatering is detrimental to the health of your tree and may cause root rot or fungus. Be careful not to confuse overwatering symptoms with symptoms due to a lack of water. Common symptoms of overwatering include yellow leaves on the lower branches or brittle green leaves.

If you’ve spotted signs of overwatering, discontinue watering again for a week or two. Assess the soil prior to watering to ensure it’s ready. If you don’t feel you’ve overwatered your tree, check for water pooling after rainfall. If you notice this happening excessively, it may be best to move the tree.

The Benefits of Mulch

Mulch works around the clock to protect your trees. It retains moisture, slows water evaporation, and moderates soil temperature. This helps in reducing the frequency you need to water your trees, keeping them well fed and lively. Mulch also provides nutrients and aeration to the soil while protecting against invasive plants.

For quality tree services, call Go Pro Professional Property Care in Davie today!

For additional tips, check out our winter season tree trimming.

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