First, your trees aren’t getting enough water, and now (all of a sudden) you’re seeing signs of overwatering your tree.

Will this lawn care ever end?! (Spoiler alert: No. No, it will not.)

But first, let’s figure out what’s really going on with your wilting willow.

RELATED: Tampa Lawn Irrigation 101

The Difference Between Overwatering And Underwatering Trees

Here’s a quick guide to differentiating the two:

How Can You Tell if a Tree is Overwatered?

overwatering trees

The easiest way to check is to dig about 6 inches underneath the soil. If it’s soaking wet, your tree is overwatered!

Some other signs you’re overwatering your tree might be:

  1. Weird Leaves: Your tree’s leaves are yellowing, break easily, or look like they have a bizarre infection (spoiler alert: it’s edema; here’s a picture).
  2. Wilting Without Improvement: Even with regular watering, if your tree continues to droop like a teenager on a Monday morning, reconsider your hydration strategy.
  3. Fungal Growth: Overwatered soil can attract unwanted fungal guests. Keep an eye out for mushrooms or mold around the tree base.

Can Trees Recover from Overwatering?

You can save a dying tree from overwatering by taking these steps (in order!)

  • Stop Watering: First things first, halt any additional watering. Give your tree room to breathe by reducing watering frequency and allowing the soil to dry out between sessions.
  • Improve Drainage: Enhance drainage by incorporating organic matter into the soil. Think of it as installing a drainage system for excess water to escape.
  • Prune Excess Foliage: Trim away excess foliage to reduce the tree’s water needs. It’s like helping your tree shed its water weight.
  • Monitor Weather Conditions: Adapt your tree care routine based on weather forecasts.

Signs Of Underwatering Trees

signs of underwatering trees

A quick check to see if your tree is dehydrated?

Stick a yardstick in the soil.

If you can’t get it through, it needs some water ASAP.

Here are 4 more signs of underwatering your tree:

  1. Dry, Crispy Leaves: If your tree’s leaves sound like they’ve turned into a bag of chips, it might be thirsty.
  2. Leaf Curling: If your leaves are curling or even turning a bit brown on the ends? Get that tree some water!
  3. Slow Growth: Your tree is like a sunflower; it needs water to grow tall and strong. If it’s stunted, consider upping its hydration game.
  4. Premature Leaf Drop: In Florida, leaves drop during the fall and winter. If you’re seeing a ton of foilage on your lawn during Spring and Summer, try switching up your watering routine!

How To Fixed Underwatered Trees

  • Slow Soaking: Water slowly to ensure the moisture penetrates deep into the soil. You want to avoid fast, shallow watering that may run off without reaching the roots.
  • Hydrate Gradually: If the tree is severely underwatered, hydrate gradually over a few days. Rapid rehydration may shock the tree, so be careful!
  • Consider Soil Amendments: Evaluate the soil quality and consider adding organic matter. Improving soil structure helps retain moisture!

Learn exactly how much you should be watering your lawn each week.