I have a Sterling Silver Linden tree that I planted about 51/2 years ago. It was about 10’ or so when planted and is now about 15’ or so. The trunk diameter is 6-8”, four feet from the ground. The tree was watered about 3x/ week for the first 3 growing seasons. It has required very frequent watering to prevent from having a generally droopy appearance. Individual leaves have a general curl but are otherwise smooth. With the heat of the past week I have found myself having to water this tree almost daily to prevent the branches from dropping. I know that the roots are not formed enough and are dependent on irrigation. I am wondering how to fix this problem to keep my tree healthy.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Unfortunately, the only way to keep this healthy, until it is able to access deeper ground moisture will be this method. Irrigation can be done in many ways, though.
This collection of articles will help: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/watering
To answer your follow-up question: I would keep the lower branches. A young tree needs the energy from those leaves to grow roots and overall size.
Thank you for all of the information. One follow up question though:
There are a few branches towards the bottom I am planning on pruning off to keep a higher canopy. I cut a few off this spring already, but would I help this problem if I pruned a few of these branches off, or should I wait until next Spring as planned? Thank you!
Unless your soil is very sandy, less frequent but deeper watering may get the roots to move downward. Almost all plants, regardless of size, wilt some in scorching heat even when moisture is present. The roots simply can't pump water to leaves fast enough to prevent drooping. Curling is often a tree's attempt to limit evaporation by reducing the leaf surface that is exposed to the sun. If your tree recovers overnight without watering, that is a sign that the moisture in the soil is OK. Remember when watering that roots extend past the drip line so you should water the entire area. Example: If there are 10 ft from the trunk to the drip line, water 15 ft out on all sides. If using a soaker hose looped around the tree several times, it will take several hours to equal an inch of water. Check by placing a tuna can where it can measure the amount of water delivered and adjust watering time to deliver 1-2 inches. I've read that a new tree needs 10 gallons of water per week for every inch of trunk diameter. Of course when weather is extreme, the need goes up.