University of Maryland Extension

Water (excessive) - Trees and Shrubs

overwatered evergreen

Back to Common Problems - Trees and Shrubs

Select plants that are tolerant to heat, exposure, soil and moisture conditions at a specific site. Group plants together with similar water requirements. When irrigating be sure to cover the entire root zone which usually extends at least twice the height of the tree from the trunk. Avoid watering just next to the trunk. Newly transplanted trees and shrubs will require more care and attention to watering than older established plants. Proper watering is the most critical task for ensuring tree and shrub establishment. Watering is just as critical for plant material planted in the fall as for those planted in the spring or summer. Conserve water in the root zone with mulch. However keep the mulch away from the trunk and extend the mulched area over as much of the root zone as practical. Consider planting shrubs in beds to keep maintenance tasks, such as watering, simple.

wet pineExcess soil moisture can reduce oxygen in the soil, damage fine root hairs, and render the root system unable to absorb water. Plants exposed to excess moisture show the same symptoms as plants under drought stress. The primary symptom of excess moisture is yellowing of lower and inner needles. If excess water continues, plants may wilt, followed by scorch, needle drop, dieback or death. Excess moisture can result if soil is poorly drained, naturally wet, or over watered.

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