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Plant Diseases/tri color beech tree confusion


I bought my tree last year in the fall and the salesman told me how to plant it and build the surface high around it so the water will hot seep in too much. He said to never water it, as this tree "hates" water. Just plant it and leave it alone.

It made it thru the winter and in the spring filled with lovely, colorful leaves. I didn't water it yet, and called the nursery to question this. I was told I should water it about once a week. So I did. Then it rained a few times so I didn't water it again until last week when the leaves looked droopy. I watered it a little and called again, as the leaves looked droopy again.

This time I was told not to water it and let it dry out. I did. Yesterday I felt a leaf and it was definitely dry and I could have crunched it in dry pieces. I called again and the lady told me to water it about every two weeks as it had not had time to become established and still needed some water.

I watered it very well, and today the leaves feel a little better but are still curled and feel a bit dry. I just read a post on this site that said to water it very well, twice a week.

How much water and how often should I water my beech tree, and have I done any lasting damage. Will it recover, and when will it be "out of the woods"? Thank you so much for your advice. I love my tree.


My background is plant pathology. Your question may be more appropriate for a horticulturist.  I do know that if a plant gets stressed (this can be by various ways) it is more susceptible to an infectious disease.  Your tree does need some moisture and a well drained soil.  Compacted soils plus too much water can spell problems especially for the roots.  I usually recommend a deep/through watering at planting to remove air spaces in the soil, then infrequent deep waterings.  Too much can be a problem.  I wish there was a magic formula, but there isn't.

Take the opportunity to visit with your nursery/ arborist to get the best information.  Once the tree gets established in the landscape (lots of trees get stressed during the initial adjustment time) then you can rely on rain and an occasional hand watering  as needed to help it.


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Dr Stephen Vann


Plant Diseases and Disorders of Lawn Grasses, Trees, Vegetables,and Ornamentals


Plant Diseases Identification and Management

B.S. Botany --- Miss. State Univ. M.S. Plant Pathology --- Miss. State Univ. Ph.D. Plant Pathology --- Texas A & M Univ.

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