Ask An Arborist: How much water for trees during the drought?

George in Oklahoma City asks:

“I have a two-year-old oak tree in my yard. I’m worried about the drought. How much water should I give my tree so it can make it through this weather?”

Christina Reid from Total Environment Wholesale Nursery replies:

“I’m assuming that it’s established and not stressed in any way and that you have clay soils. Right now during the winter months you should water that tree about 30 minutes once a week while the temperatures are above freezing. During the spring (let’s hope we have a wet one) make sure the tree has a good soaking water 2 to 3 times a week (2 if the temperatures are cool, 3 if it warms up rapidly). During the heat of the summer, water 15 minutes every other day and make sure the tree gets a good soaking at least once a week.”