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sprinkler system watering an Edmonton backyard trees and lawn at sunset

Before you break out the garden hose, let's take a look!

This summer has been one of the hottest on record which has posed the risk of a major problem...overwatering trees. It’s not always easy to discern the correct amount of water you need to give for proper tree care though. That is why we have created this simple guide to show you the top five signs that you could be overwatering.


When you water your tree, normally, the area surrounding the tree is a little damp. With that being said, excessively over-damp soil is not a good sign. If you place your hand on the soil and it is saturated, you probably do not need to water again for some time.

However, in some cases, the top-soil may appear dry while just beneath the surface is overly saturated. Try digging slightly beneath the soil surrounding your tree to check if it is damp. Another option is to purchase a water gauge that sticks in the soil to monitor when the soil is dry.


In cases of overwatering, the established leaves may still appear green. This issue is in their strength as overwatering will cause them to become very brittle. If the leaves of your tree break apart when you touch them it is a sign that you are watering too much.

In the case of new or young leaves, overwatering will make them appear light green or yellowish. With that being said, these can also be signs of disease or pests. It is important to first rule out overwatering and then go forward from there to find the cause of the problem.


Excessive watering essentially suffocates the tree. When the roots become clogged the oxygenation process stops. You can find signs of this by paying attention to new growth or the lack thereof.

If new shoots are developing, pay attention to their growth. Overwatered trees will often not be able to support new growth reaching maturity and the shoots will likely die away.


Mushrooms, algae, and mold thrive in moist conditions. Mushrooms surrounding a tree is a sign that the ground is very saturated, and the tree is getting too much water.

Moss growing up the sides of the tree is another telltale sign of overwatering. Consider aerating around the tree to help with drainage. This will help thin out the mushrooms and get oxygen to the roots of the tree.


Too much water for trees can cause lesions to the leaves and to the tree itself. The leaves may have the appearance of being burned or have blister-like marks on the leaf or stem.

In many cases, these marks will start with one area of the tree and then quickly spread affecting the entire tree. Proper tree care is the only way to prevent these issues.


Overwatering trees is a tricky problem to reverse. Aeration can help the issue but paying close attention to the signs is imperative to saving the tree. This simple guide is an excellent tool to keep handy and can help you see the signs before it is too late.

For tree service any season of the year, don’t hesitate to give us a call! Our professional arborists serve communities in Edmonton, Sherwood Park, Leduc, St. Albert, Fort Saskatchewan, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Beaumont, and surrounding areas!


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