10' Green Giants watering requirements

DonK69May 14, 2014

I have recently acquired three 10' Green Giants which are planted on an approximately 10% slope in dark silty Missouri River dirt. They were planted so that the top of the root ball was level with the ground on the up hill side, but on the down hill side over half the root ball only has dirt mounded up against it... no moat. The hole dug for the root ball is not much larger than the root ball itself, as they dug it by hand. When they completed the planting I was told to water them when the were dry.
My questions to you are:

Were they planted correctly?

If not, should they be taken up and replanted properly?

Watering... I know the rule of two digits of the finger stuck in the soil for moisture check from reading a thread on Green Giants watering requirements. But,

Can I water all at one by using three soaker hoses (connected with water hoses between each soaker hose) to water them all at once?

If so, how long should the soaker hose (coiled around the trunk of each tree) be? 20' 25' 50' ?

How long should I keep this watering system going? One year? two? three?

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sc77

That does not sound like a good situation. Planting a 10ft tree even of flat land is not any easy task, I can't imagine trying to do that on a hill. If 1/2 the rootball is exposed on the slope side, the tree is going to die. That mound up dirt will wash down the hill after a couple of rain storms, when the roots hit the air, those trees are toast.

Maybe a picture would help, but if it looks like what I am imagining, you really would need some sort of retainer walls to house these rootballs... a 10ft tree should have had an enormous root ball if it was dug correctly (assuming b&b) at that size. If they didn't need a machine to put it in place it sounds like the rootball must have been slaughtered before it was even planted..

In the future, if you are planting on a slope, it makes more sense to start small, so the trees roots can grow down into the slope. At 10 ft, a proper planting would mean the tree should be pointing strait out of the hill at an angle, as it was never training to grow into the hill...

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 2:49PM
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DonK69

Here is the photo which mirrors the other two trees condition as well. There seems to be plenty of soil heaped around the rootball.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 8:42AM
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sc77

I guess this is why they say a picture is worth a thousand words... That slope is nothing, I was picturing something very steep when you said that half the rootball was exposed on the lower side....

At this point, I say leave them where they are. The whole should have been dug twice as wide, but it is what it is.. GG's are pretty indestructable, so you should be ok. I would get some mulch around the base of those trees (leave a couple inches of space near the trunk), but 3ft alll around should be mulched with a couple inches of mulch. That will also help prevent the dirt from washing away and water retention.

GG's are tough to over water, so be generous, especially given their size. But do keep tabs on the moister by sticking your finger into the ground to the second knuckle and checking periodically. If dry, water, if not, leave them alone.

They look like nice trees. 10ft is very large, most of us typically only plant 1-3 gallon offerings at most. Best of luck

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 9:19PM
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DonK69

Deleted

This post was edited by DonK69 on Sat, May 17, 14 at 13:56

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 1:28PM
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DonK69

Thanks SC77, the mulch was ordered with the trees and will arrive this coming week.

Someone suggested that since I do not have an inground watering system in place, that running a water hose 100' over the yard to set up the soaker in-line system (trees are 40 feet apart - each with a soaker hose coiled around trunk/ root ball and connected to the next tree's soaker by a 50' connector hose ... for all three trees) is not practicable; that I should use five gallon buckets with holes in the bottom to water them (5 gal a day per tree) as being sufficient.

If the bucket system would work, great! How long do I keep watering the tree on a daily basis? Until Fall? One year?

If bucket won't work how about the soaker system? I posted some questions about the soaker system in my first posting.

Any comments or recommendations? I really want to do this right without overkill or losing my investment in these trees.

Thanks!
Don

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 1:52PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

That's a nice planting job!

(2) 5-gal buckets on each side is ideal... assuming they won't fall over, or, (4) other-sized buckets on each side (2-gal? - I'm thinking the buckets with a handle that are apprx. 15" x 15") Drill a 1/8" hole while you're standing there at the tree so the water if at all possible can drip about 6" - 8" away from the trunk(s). Add a large rock or a few bricks to each bucket while you're figuring this out. Once a week is enough. If during summer & temps are 90's - 100 for an entire week, go ahead and water twice. Just check the soil with your index finger to the knuckle to check if it's necessary & so nobody on here tells ME, lol, to not over-water. LOL

My mama always said about watering: 'it (water) will just keep going down.'

Dax

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 5:58AM
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DonK69

Thanks Dax, I will pick up those buckets and return the hoses.

Don

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 8:56AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

glad to.

Dax

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 9:58AM
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fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)

Are you sure that is a 10% slope? I have a 8-9% slope and mine seems much more extreme. That was what the Soil Web survey said and then I calculated it myself and came out with 10%, so pretty close. Pics can be very deceiving though, how did you come up with the 10%?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 11:56AM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

Is that 10% or 10 degrees from level?
Stupid question, I know.
Mike

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 2:41PM
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DonK69

Sorry, that was suppose to be 10 degree not 10%. Whether or not that is correct I'm not sure, that is what was estimated by the landscaper.

I purchased the 5 gal buckets, now I'm trying to decide whether a slower water drain time from the bucket (example 3 hr drain time = smaller hole drilled in it) versus quicker (30 min drain time) is better.

any thoughts on this, or am I overthinking this?

Thanks,
Don

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 8:51AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

30 minutes is fine.

Dax

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 7:14AM
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