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Q

How many gallons per hour are needed for mature fruit trees? Also how many times a week and how long each time should trees be watered?

Answer(s)

A

The majority of fruit tree roots are in the top 2-3 feet of soil.  How much water and how often depends on your soil texture.  Sandy soilsdon't hold as much water as loam and clay soils.  Compared to turf, or a vegetable garden, trees prefer less frequent, deep waterings.

The thing to remember is that during the heat of the summer, fruit trees will transpire as much as two inches of water a week.  So if your tree occupies an area about 20 feet by 20 feet (for example) that would be approximately 67 cubic feet (20' x 20' x 2") or 500 gallons (7.5 gallons
per cubic foot).  The rate at which the water can be applied (gallons per minute) will also depend on the soil type.  Heavier soils are slower to absorb water, so if you apply it too fast, it will just run off the surface.

For more details on irrigating fruit trees, there are several fact
sheets now available on the USU extension website.

Extension.usu.edu/publications
Go to the "Horticulture" heading and click on the "Fruit" link.
Otherwise click on one of the links below.

http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/Horticulture_Fruit_2008-01pr.pdf
http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/Horticulture_Fruit_2008-03pr.pdf
http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/Horticulture_Fruit_2008-02pr.pdf

Posted on 25 Apr 2008

Brent Black
Fruit Specialist

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