Q. We planted an African Sumac tree three years ago that is showing a lot of new green leaves now. Could you please let me know how much water it needs? It was deep fertilized at the beginning of spring.
A. Are you sure you aren’t seeing flowers? These trees flower in late Fall and into the winter months in the Northern hemisphere.
|African sumac flowers|
You realize that trees require more water as they get older and larger. So at three years of age they require more water than when first planted. I would normally add another emitter at this age to give it the extra water it needs.
In another three or four years it will require again more water than it requires now as it gets even larger. You would add another emitter again at this time to deliver more water. You should avoid increasing the minutes to give it more water.
|Two drip emitters will not be enough for a tree this size|
With that in mind, I would estimate that after three years in the ground your tree should receive about 10 to 15 gallons each time you water if planted from a 15 gallon container. I can't give you that estimate in minutes because I don't know how much water the plant is getting in one of its minutes.
You should determine how much water is being delivered to the tree. I'm not sure if you're using drip or not but many emitters state the number of gallons per hour that it is delivering or they are color-coded.
Add all these gallons together and divide by the fraction of the hour you are watering; 15 minutes you would divide by 4, 30 minutes divide by two. Do not water landscape trees and shrubs daily. This time of year once a week should be adequate.
You can fertilize the tree yourself. Place some fertilizer underneath each emitter or use fertilizer stakes such as Jobes next to each emitter.
|Jobes tree spikes|
If you are watering in a basin around the tree, sprinkle fertilizer in the basin and water it in and save yourself some money. Don't put fertilize closer than a foot from the trunk.