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Red Maple Tree
and Water

Q: I planted a 1" diameter Red Maple in April. Also I had new sod installed just before that.

So I had to water it every day for the first few weeks. Then every other day for another couple of weeks.

The problem I'm have is that the end of the leaves are turning black. There is some new limbs and leaf growth. Any idea what the problem is?

A: You may have been applying too much water for the tree's liking. Typically, you should only need to water a tree once a week, twice at most if the weather is extremely hot and dry.

Too much water in the soil forces oxygen out of the pore spaces. Roots require oxygen in the soil to survive, so the end result is roots that are literally drowning because there is too much water.

I realize you had a lawn to keep established, and watering was a must. However, if you can water the tree separately from the lawn somehow, that would be better for the tree.

At this point it is a wait-and-see situation to see if the tree will recover. If it does, only water once a week, applying 1" of water each time, during any extended dry spells.

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Tom Mugridge

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