Toronto - City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, Urban Forestry Branch, is asking residents to help keep young (less than three years) and mature trees healthy during hot weather and dry spells.

“Trees are important to Toronto’s quality of life. They contribute to our everyday lives in many, important ways, such as cleaning our air and water and making our neighbourhoods more beautiful,” said Richard Ubbens, Director, 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 that young trees will grow and flourish.”

For care during dry spells, residents should infrequently water mature trees, but provide a deep soaking. This 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.

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

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 your trees, please visit