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September 18, 2009
City asks residents to water thirsty, vulnerable trees
After several weeks with no rain in Toronto, the Urban Forestry branch of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation is reminding residents to help keep trees healthy by watering them. This is especially important for young trees planted within the past three years.

“New roots die easily - even in an early fall drought like this. The trees will start the year much better next year if they can retain their new roots,” said Richard Ubbens, Director of Toronto Urban Forestry. “We’re asking Toronto residents and business owners to water any newly planted tree that is close to their home or place of business, so the young trees will grow and flourish.”

Young or newly planted trees need water every day - two pails (20 litres). If using a garden hose, water around the base for about two minutes. Keep the water pressure low enough so as not to wash away any soil.

For care during dry spells, residents do not need to water mature trees frequently, but from time to time should provide a deep soaking. Soaking deeply will result in a deeper root system and improve the tree’s tolerance to drought. Usually trees need a long, thorough watering once every seven to 10 days.

To conserve water, consider using water from a dehumidifier or rain barrel to water trees. The best time for watering is in the early morning hours or late evening to minimize the amount lost to evaporation under the heat of the sun.

To keep moisture in the ground and to discourage the growth of weeds, add leaf or woodchip mulch around the base of the tree. Do not water the canopy of the tree, except when it’s specifically recommended - damp leaves may promote foliar disease development.

For more information about how to care for trees, visit

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Parks, Forestry and Recreation media line, 416-560-8726,



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