Overwatering

    Overwatering

    overwatering

    Standing water in root zone (USDA Forest Service - Ogden, Bugwood.org)

    overwatering

    Overwatered pine (William Fountain, University of Kentucky, Bugwood.org)

    Description

    Overwatering can cause as much stress as severe drought. Every plant should be watered to meet its water requirements. Site, soil and environmental factors will also affect watering rates. Too much water will saturate soils, displacing air and starving the roots of oxygen. Saturated soils will cause roots to die, negatively affecting water uptake. Overwatering symptoms include canopy dieback, leaf yellowing, necrosis, marginal scorch, wilting and leaf loss. Tree death can occur where standing water is persistent.

    Management

    Minimize overwatering damage by understanding the water needs of your plants. Plant species with similar water requirements in watering zones so they can be watered properly. Have your soil texture analyzed to determine its water-holding capacity (e.g., clay holds water, sand is permeable). For more information on watering trees and plants, see the Utah State University fact sheet Efficient Irrigation of Trees and Shrubs.