How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Watering fruit and nut trees

Fruit and nut trees require consistent, uniform soil moisture. Water is very important for young trees, especially during the first year when the root system is developing. Stress during early growth or during fruit production will reduce yields and fruit quality and may make trees more susceptible to boring insects or diseases. Moisture should be replaced well before the trees begin to show stress. Young trees may need up to 3 to 5 gallons of water per week. Avoid frequent light watering with sprinklers as this creates a shallow root system. A garden hose, soaker hose, or drip system can provide good deep watering. Sandy soils may have to be watered every 3 to 5 days; heavier soils may need only to be watered every 1.5 to 2 weeks. During hot weather, young trees may need to be watered more often. Avoid prolonged saturation. If weather is windy, be sure to stake young trees, otherwise they will lean in wet soils.

Do not water established trees near the trunk and lower branches, as this promotes root and crown disease. Water plants when needed around the drip line and beyond. Avoid overhead sprinklers when possible. Try to water deeply and infrequently (every 2 to 3 weeks) by irrigating for 12 to 24 hours to wet to a 3- to 6-foot depth. If using a drip system, water more on a continual basis. Reduce water in late summer and fall.

Water plants around the drip line and beyond
Water plants around the drip line and beyond


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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