Bob Atchinson of the Kansas Forest Service suggests watering trees, even in winter, to counteract drought conditions.
Newly planted trees should be watered regularly for the first three years. Established mature trees should be watered every two to four weeks by soaking the top foot of soil under the tree’s canopy. Atchison recommended using a soaker hose, drip irrigation, or slow drip bucket to spread water over the entire root area. He recommends two gallons of water be applied for every inch of tree diameter.
Pruning and fertilizing can have negative effects during drought, causing the tree to expend energy that could otherwise be spent on growth.
For other questions about tree care, contact the Kansas Forest Service at (785) 532-3300 or visit http://www.kansasforests.org.