Eco-Activity #56: Tree bucket buddy

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Tree Bucket Buddy

Trees need water just like we do in order to stay hydrated and healthy! Growing new leaves and roots, transporting nutrients, and completing photosynthesis all require water. It can even help trees manage pests and disease!

Young trees that have just been planted (maybe you’ve recently completed our Just 1 Tree Mission!) especially need help getting enough water. But all trees can benefit from a good drink! Since they take in water slowly, it can be hard to hydrate without waste! Standing around with the hose pointed at your tree trunk usually just ends up with water bubbling up and spilling around the lawn, before the roots have barely sucked any up.

Earth Rangers is here to help you with a little DIY fun to make your very own tree watering system: A Bucket Buddy!! All you need is a big ol’ pail (we recommend a five-gallon one) and something to carefully puncture holes in the bottom. A drill or a hammer and nail will do just fine, but make sure that you get an adult’s help to do it safely!

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Make a half-inch hole near the outer edge of the bottom of your bucket.
  2. Fill your bucket all the way to the top with water.
  3. Find the area directly under your tree’s “drip line”—that’s the area right under the canopy’s furthest reach. Place your full bucket here!

Remember to always ask for an adult’s help when using power tools!

  1. After the water has slowly drained into the tree’s soil, move the bucket to the opposite side of the tree to give the roots on the other side a good slurp! Alternatively, you could use two buckets in step 3: one on either side!
  2. Repeat 2-3 times per week in the hot summer months so your tree can drink up 20-30 gallons of water! It’s a well-deserved treat for providing us with clean air all season long!

Pro tip: When it’s raining, pull your buckets out from under the trees so that you can collect rainwater to use! It’s a great way to save water! Just make sure that you temporarily plug the holes while you’re collecting it so you can use it later to help out thirsty trees.

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