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How to water mature olive tree in AZ?

Posted by lovemy3azboys Arizona (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 22, 12 at 17:58

Just moved into a new home that has a mature olive tree. The tree is planted in a large raised area & has rock for mulch. Last weekend we planted new bermuda grass seeds around the outside of this raised area & have been watering it heavely to keep the seeds moist for germination. I have noticed there are many yellow leaves on the olive tree, not sure if this is recent. I'm not sure how to water this tree. I've been looking online but am still not sure if the yellow is from too little or too much water. I've only watered the tree slightly in the 2 months we have been here.

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RE: How to water mature olive tree in AZ?

The Mediterranean origin of olive trees makes them well suited for our desert environment. The yellow leaves you see could indicate water stress or could be the natural replacement of last years leaves at the beginning of the growth season.

It can be difficult to adequately water trees that are located in grass areas. Grass only needs water to soak down to 6 - 8 inches while trees need moisture down to 2 - 3 feet. The amount of water needed for your tree will depend on its size. For instance, an olive with a canopy width of 10 feet will need about 70 gallons of water applied once every 10 days. A tree with a 15 foot canopy will need about 170 gallons once every 10 days.

This water should be applied at the drip line (edge of the branches). You can use a drip system or hose. Some folks use a soaker hose laid under the tree at the drip line. For trees not on my drip system I let the hose trickle overnight (when water is cooler) on several consecutive nights moving the hose to different locations at the drip line.

More details about how much water to apply can be found on page 9 of Landscape Watering by the Numbers. A schedule of how often to apply the water is on page 12 and 18. See the link below.

Good luck with your tree.

Here is a link that might be useful: Landscape Watering by the Numbers

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