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View the Introductory Guide to Young Tree Establishment Sieries

Watering young trees in dry weather

 30/04/2020    Last Modified: 05/06/2023


Watering Young Trees

Young trees need water to survive

According to the Met Office rainfall between January and June 2022 was the lowest since 1976. Established mature trees are able to find their own water. However, it is recommended that newly planted trees are given 50 litres of water per week during the summer months, for the first three years after planting.

Newly planted trees need to be watered regularly over the summer months if they are going to become established and thrive.

If you have a tree outside your house, or one that you pass on your daily walk, then you can help.

Watering should ideally be carried out in the early morning or evening.
It is good practice to water trees for the first three years after planting.
If the tree has a watering pipe, then half of the water should be poured down the pipe and the other half on the surface of the tree. If the tree has a watering bag, then fill that.
Where possible, water should be sustainably sourced. Harvested rainwater is ideal, but bath water, or water which has been used for the washing up, is also suitable.

Requirements vary depending on a number of factors such as species and location, but a general rule is that they should receive at least 50 litres of water per week in May, June, July and August:

Please water regularly during dry periods with as much as you can – Every little helps

Planting a tree is the easy part…

Please note: We send 25 copies per request. If you require more for a larger project, please contact stephen@trees.org.uk.

Address Line 2:
Community group or Organisation name: *
Description of project or use for tags: *
I am happy to be contacted for a follow up on my project
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Trees that need watering locally are called a Tree Watering Group

Find or create your own local tree watering group

If you go to the TiCL website www.ticl.me and put your postcode into the ‘Search Location’ box, if there is a local watering group near you it will show as a pin near the figure in the centre of the map.

If there isn’t a watering group near you and you’d like to tell people about trees you know about that need watering locally, create one here

Befriend a Tree

Pledge to water one or more local trees regularly

Join the local branch of the TiCL National Tree Watering Scheme and become a local Tree Watering Champion! #TogetherWeCan

The TiCL National Tree Watering Scheme

Local Tree Watering Champions and opportunities for locals to ‘Befriend’ a tree or trees

New trees need regular watering in the first few years after planting. The TiCL National Tree Watering Scheme helps identify local trees that need extra water for individuals to ‘Befriend’ – that is give water regularly to, during the hottest parts of the year.

By matching individuals to trees (usually their closest) in this way, tree watering can be effectively and efficiently shared locally preventing gaps (missed trees) and duplication of effort. The scheme supports community involvement in a worthwhile project that has a direct benefit to the local environment.

A local Tree Watering Champion (which could be an individual or a Group) selects a group of local trees that need watering (trees with stakes and pipes) and creates a map of those trees (a watering group) using TiCL App IOS or Android. The virtual map created and physical tree labels help the Tree Watering Champion promote the trees that need befriending.

People discover the trees in the watering group and ‘Befriend’ them – each person focuses their attention on a particular tree for regular watering during the hottest part of the year.

The local Tree Watering Champion encourages the Group with App notifications to prompt tree watering during particularly dry periods and everyone helps find new tree waterers locally to befriend more trees in their watering group.

So… could you befriend a local tree and agree to water it regularly?


Could you champion local tree watering – become a local Tree Watering Champion.

TiCL National Tree Watering Scheme

Could you be a local Tree Watering Champion?

A local tree watering champion identifies local trees that need watering and then uses tree labels and TiCL App to find people to ‘Befriend’ those trees (i.e. water them regularly) – these trees and their befrienders are their ‘tree watering group’.

Note that The Tree Watering Champion and the tree befrienders can remain anonymous using this system.

How it works:

The Tree Watering Champion first identifies and creates a map of the local trees that need watering (those with stakes and pipes) using TiCL App – instructions here – it’s easier than you think!

The Tree Watering Champion might also hang a label on the trees in their watering group to identify them as being in need of befriending (regular watering) – download a label here.

As people befriend trees in the watering group the tree watering champion gets a notification via TiCL App that the tree has been befriended.

The Tree watering champion can send a notification to the whole tree watering group via TiCL App to prompt everyone to water their trees during hot weather.

TiCL National Tree Watering Scheme

Befriending a local tree

– every tree deserves a best friend!

New trees (those with stakes and pipes) need regular watering during the hottest part of the year. See instructions for watering trees here.

Although Councils water the trees they plant, the trees simply often don’t get the regular watering they need during the hottest part of the year. Even if the thirsty trees don’t die, they are prone to disease and poor growth – by befriending a tree you pledge to give it some regular top up watering during the driest parts of the year during its first few years.

Just think – if every tree had a best Friend then all our local trees would thrive – #TogetherWeCan

To ‘Best Friend’ a tree – contact your local Tree Watering Champion using TiCL App (or reply to their label).

Download the TiCL App for IOS or Android

‘Search’ for a tree you’d like to befriend (Search in the Category ‘Watering Group’)

Add a comment to the tree to say you’d like to befriend it.

The Tree Watering Champion will send you notifications from time to time, especially when it’s been hot, to remind you to water your tree.

When you water a tree you might like to leave a comment on TiCL App that you’ve watered it. TiCL App will record the date.

If there isn’t a local watering group perhaps you’d like to become a local Tree Watering Champion and create one?

TiCL App


Download the Tree Label

TiCL Tree Label

Spread the word!

Download Social Media Graphics

Square Option 1

Option 1

Square Option 2

Option 2

Square Option 3

Option 3

Download Social Media ZIP

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Learn more about…

Free Tree Care Resource Packs

Copies of the posters and other public focused tree care guidance are available to order free at Arboricultural Resources page.

Local authorities and community groups

Using watering young trees resources

If you would like to add your Local Authority or Community Group logo to the tree watering tags then please feel free to do so; however please ensure that this does not replace the logos of the Arboricultural Association, London Tree Officers Association Municipal Tree Officers Association and Association of Tree Officers – the original logos must remain on the tags.

Contact stephen@trees.org.uk

Tree Health, Watering