Proper way to water new trees

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Old 06-08-18, 01:08 AM
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Proper way to water new trees

Hello, last year I planted two orange trees and a persimmon. I had to build big cages to protect them from deers while they are still small (roughly 5 or 6 ft).

They are planted on a slope and my contractor installed a "bubbler" irrigation a couple of feet "uphill" each tree. I have a timer and a valve that waters them every couple of days for a few minutes. The soil around the trees gets soaked relatively well, but I do not know how much it penetrates below.

Is this a good way to water them? It looks simplistic but maybe it's OK in this context...

The persimmon looks in a great shape but the oranges are not growing as much as I had hoped - maybe I should supplement with fertilizer?

Sorry for the seemingly dumb questions but these are my first trees.
 
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Old 06-08-18, 04:17 AM
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There is no right or wrong way, if they are getting water then the job is being accomplished.
 
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Old 06-08-18, 05:30 AM
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You want to slowly water new trees for a long time. I would recommend every couple of days for about an hour or two. Short watering causes shallow roots to grow.
 
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Old 06-08-18, 05:34 AM
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the oranges are not growing as much as I had hoped
Fruit trees are not generally fast growing.
 
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Old 06-08-18, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by alesan
". . . maybe I should supplement with fertilizer? . . ."
Those ate two different things . . . . you ought to at least consider fertilizing independent and regardless of how much water the plants are getting.

What's the pH of the soil that you're trying to grow the Orange Trees in ?
 
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Old 06-08-18, 09:15 AM
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Thanks for the answers.

It is not only about growing tall, but one of the oranges used to be really really beautiful but now it's getting thinner and worries me.

I do not know the PhH of the soil - and more importantly I did not know I had to know it. I guess I need to buy a PH-meter specific for soil readings? I have one for liquids but I do not think it's going to work. What else should I measure?

Last nigth I have seen "deep watering" systems where people insert ~2ft pieces of pipe with a bunch of holes vertically in the soil and by filling them they provide water down below - is this gimmick or it's a valid method?

Thank you
 
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Old 06-08-18, 09:20 AM
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How often are you watering . . . . I ask because too much watering can leach all (or many) of the nutrients out of your soil ?
 
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Old 06-08-18, 11:38 AM
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So much depends on details we don't have. Exactly what varieties of trees, your location, your soil type... Persimmon and orange are two different species. Just a quick look online shows persimmon can grow in zones 4-9 while an orange is 9-11. At best you are right on the edge for each type. It's not surprising that your climate favors one and it thrives while the other is just surviving.
 
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Old 06-08-18, 12:32 PM
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Hello. Well my neighbors have oranges and persimmons so it cannot be that wrong. I will collect data (just ordered a PH-meter etc) and lookup the exact zone I am in and provide these details soon.

As I wrote in my first post, I water three times a week for (depending if it's too hot or not) 4-6 minutes. I know that does not say much... I'll report the "moisture level" once I get the meter I ordered
 
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Old 06-08-18, 04:15 PM
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Dont be surprised if one tree takes off while the other is stunted. Trees do not grow as fast as weeds... and they experience shock from transplanting that can make it seem like they are not growing. What is happening is that the tree has to establish it's own new root system.

My initial thought is that you are comparing the growth of one to the other, expecting similar results, which is not realistic. Obsessing about it won't help either. Trees take time to grow. Give it a couple years then you might see a noticeable change in growth once it's roots are established.

JMHO.
 
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Old 06-08-18, 05:18 PM
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Well - maybe I need to wait, but maybe due to my inexperience I am also not using best practices. For example I've never seen people using these "bubblers" to irrigate.
I should also add that the trees were planted last spring. Shortly after, Deers ate them completely down to the last leaf - and stayed unprotected for a couple more months until I was able to build protective cages. That didn't help them I guess to overcome the transplanting stress... last year they made absolutely no fruit, while they had it when I bought them from the nursery. Now after almost a year of wait I decided to ask for advice. The tree I am most concerned is definitely in a poorer state compared to when it was planted.
 
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Old 06-08-18, 05:21 PM
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About weeds: as I built these 6ft cages to protect them from deees, I unfortunately tend not to enter the cages as often as I probably should to get rid of weeds. The area has been covered with shredded redwood bark and this year I added more mulch but weeds don't care how imperative is it that I remove all weeds from near the tree?
 
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Old 06-08-18, 10:36 PM
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So last year you planted two 5 foot orange trees. Did you carefully transplant from the pots...and unwind the roots...not just plop into the ground with the roots growing in a circular direction ?

After the deer ate the leafs, I would expect a long delay in the orange trees looking normal. Citrus trees need a DEEP watering. Sounds like you have not yet dug down to see. They like a lot of iron in their fertilizer for green leafs. BTW what do the leafs show ? Green veins and pale green in between ?
 
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Old 06-09-18, 08:26 AM
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I got to thinking about our citrus trees, years ago, in CA. We planted in 1/2 barrels in 1998 and moved to OR in 2006. They could have been a mix of dwarf and regular oranges, not sure.

Anyhow, they did fine. Got lots of water and citrus food. After 5 years the barrels started to break down and the roots were crowded. So....we built a larger box to surround the barrels (no floor) and slowly pulled the staves away, over time. Added soil as needed. They did fine.

Maybe you can convert to 1/2 barrels and level them. Lots of watering options now.
 
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Old 06-09-18, 10:18 AM
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What does it mean "convert to barrels"? The trees have been put in the ground on a slope (the local area around the tree has been flattened). There are two oranges and one persimmon, all of them are supposed to be full size and I wish they grow as tall as possible because they will also give us privacy.
 
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Old 06-09-18, 11:38 AM
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I meant dig them out of the ground and transplant into 1/2 barrels (or in your case, why not build some redwood/cedar boxes about 4x4x3 feet) . Soft, friable soil... controlled watering... They will grow faster and you will gain 3 feet of height for your privacy issue, right away.
 
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