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How Much Water Does a Pine Tree Need? (Explained)

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Almost all of us admired those landscapes with pine trees or the next-door neighbor’s backyard adorned with tall pines. And so if you wish to have a few pine trees at your place, we won’t get surprised! 

While planning to plant pine trees there are a few queries you might have. For example, how much water you’ll need to provide a pine tree. 

You can get the answer here in brief along with much other detail that you can’t avoid while taking care of a pine tree!

How much water does a pine tree need?

Pine trees require different amounts of watering during different phases of their life. A mature pine tree needs 1 to 3 inches deep water in its soil every week, which requires 1.4-1.5 gallons of water every day. Whereas a baby pine needs to be watered twice or thrice in a week 1 to 2 inches deeply. 

Pine trees are very popular and adored all around the world. Talk about their height or those aesthetic leaves, pine trees are beautiful in every way.

Pine trees at different stages require a different amount of water. Moreover, how much water they need depends on a pine tree’s diameter too. 

Let’s know pines, at their different stages, needs how much water! 

Mature/Full-grown pine tree:

Though a full-grown pine tree doesn’t need watering every other day, once in a week they should be provided 10 gallons of water. That means a mature pine needs 1.42-1.5 gallons of water every day to stay healthy.

Newly planted pine tree:

A pine that’s just been placed in the earth surely requires much water to strengthen its roots. Based on the diameter of the trunk of the tree, 1 to 1.5 gallons per inch diameter is the daily need of a newly planted pine.

Baby/small pine tree:

Baby pine trees or pine trees are a bit bigger version of newly planted ones. These tiny pines require less than newly grown ones. Baby pine trees demand about 0.25 – 0.4 gallons of water a day until the shrubs grow taller. 

They should be kept 2 inches damp all the time.

Ponderosa pine tree:

Ponderosa, a species of pines is known for its high drought toleration ability. But while growing from their early stage they need much water. 

That’s why they should be watered 1 inch a day, which according to the trunk diameter rule is equivalent to 1.5 to 2 gallons for a day.

Large pine tree:

Pine trees that are longer and larger than average ones need 1.4 -1.5 gallons of water in their root daily. This means a damp ground of 18-20 inches should be maintained. 

However, they don’t need to be watered every day since they are mature pine trees. 

Potted pine tree:

A pine tree planted on a pot should be watered deeply. To grow and stay green they need 0.4-0.5 gallons of water daily. To hold its hydration, it’s better to keep 1 inch from the top moisture all the time.

How do I know if my pine tree needs water?

You might be sitting in calm thinking your pine tree is getting enough water. But what if you’re guessing it wrong? To know if your pine tree needs water, you have to observe a few signs thrown by the tree as well as test the soil. 

Dry soil:

Dry soil around the root is the most common sign that your pine is underwatered. Dig a few inches deeper near the root with a screwdriver and if you can’t do that smoothly because the soil is hard to go through then your tree needs water. 

You can also test the soil by taking a plum full of soils from 5-6 inches deeper, If the soil there isn’t cool or soft, the tree is crying for water.

Unseasonable leaves shedding:

If your pine tree is dropping leaves earlier than usual, like in the summer, then it’s because it lacks moisture.

Discolored needles:

Needles that have lost the natural color are another signal that your pine tree is not getting enough water. Needles of a pine tree, when don’t get enough moisture turns yellow or brown and fall off at the end.

How often do I need to water my pine trees? How long can a pine tree go without water?  

Except for newly planted ones, pine trees don’t need frequent watering. Mature pine trees need watering once a week to look healthy and green. But on dry days, regular watering is needed to avoid drought stress.

Newly planted pine trees require water 2 or 3 times a week for the first 2 years. Thus they can settle their roots firmly.

Pine trees have a natural ability to put up with dry weather. Even in the driest areas, a mature pine tree can live for around 6 months without any water.

However, where the tree is planted also decides its longevity without water. Pine trees that are planted in clay soil cannot go long without water. But a pine that’s growing in sandy earth can survive without water for a good time.

How to water a pine tree?

If you have a pine tree, then you must learn how to take care of it properly. So that it grows healthy and lives long. However, how healthy and green a pine tree can look depends much on how it’s been being watered. 

Here we’ve shared five easy steps following which you can water your pine tree correctly.

Use a hose:

The first step is to arrange a hosepipe to water the tree adequately. Any hose, soaker, or garden one will do the work.

Connect it to the water source:

Then find a nearby water source to connect the hose. Make sure the water isn’t too hot or salted.

Set the water pressure:

Before starting watering fix the water pressure to a light stage. If it’s a baby pine, then keeping the pressure high can harm the plant.

Water from various angles:

Turning the water source on, make the water flow in slow motion. Water the surface around the pine tree from different angles. 

Take breaks during irrigation:

Lastly, maintain a break of 10-15 minutes after each cycle and check the moist level around the root area with a water probe or screwdriver.

Can you overwater a pine tree?

Watering a pine tree more than its requirement is a big no. It can invite various problems for the tree which can make you work too hard to save it.

Pine trees usually don’t need a lot of water after it has reached the grown-up stage. They can be watered once a week in the depth of 1-3 inches from the base. Moreover, a few species of pines are highly able to carry on without water, even for months. 

If you overwater a pine tree the soil pockets around it can get clogged with water thus the roots may drown and be destroyed. Slowly the tree will lose its greenery as the needles will turn brown and then drop excessively. 

Overwatering can make the whole tree brown and put an end to its life. So you cannot and should not water pine trees excessively.

How to tell if a pine tree is overwatered?

To avoid any major damage caused by overwatering it’s wise to know the symptoms earlier. Here’s how can you know if a pine tree is overwatered:

Saturated soil:

The soil around a pine tree shows the first sign of overwatering. While observing the ground if you find the surface too wet and muddy, take an attempt to go a bit deep into the ground. 

If the soil from 6-10inch depth feels muddy and watery then you know the answer.

Change in the needles:

Too much water can cause discoloration to pine needles. Those green needles will suddenly turn brownish having spots on them when overwatered.

Needle drop:

Pines are evergreen trees. So they hardly drop their needle in bulks unless there is an imbalance. If you notice too much needle fall, it’s a result of overwatering the tree.


Mushrooms need a drastically damp area to grow. So if you see mushrooms around the trees’ roots, it’s because the soil there is too damp. 


A rotten root creates fungus that causes canker in a pine tree’s bark. So if you find any spot or discharge in the bark, it’s overwatered.

Final Thoughts: 

A fully grown pine tree needs 1.4 to 1.5 gallons of water every day. But they don’t need to be watered constantly as watering once a week covers the demand. A newly planted pine tree requires 1 to 1.5 gallons of water each day, regularly. Generally, pine’s water absorption depends much on their age.

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