Viroqua Public Works Intern Joe Binzley with a tree watering bag - contributed photo

City of Viroqua uses DNR grant to start tree planting and watering program

VIROQUA, WIs. – Thanks to a grant from the Wisconsin DNR the City of Viroqua has created the Viroqua Tree Planting and Tree Bag Program.  Starting this fall, the city will be planting over 50 trees annually in public areas, such as parks and boulevards. To ensure the health of the saplings and other young trees planted in recent years, the city will be implementing the Tree Bag Program. 

“In the first few years of a tree’s life, it requires regular watering. Wisconsin often has stretches of dry weather during the summer months. The deficiency of water can put stress on young trees. To ensure the health and growth of young trees in the community, the city is setting up tree watering bags around trees planted 1-3 years ago residing in boulevards” said city Public Works Intern Joe Binzley.

Starting in mid-July the bags will be installed around Viroqua on boulevard trees requiring extra watering assistance. Informational flyers will be handed out to residents who have a tree watering bag set up in their boulevard. Before the winter months, the city will recollect the tree bags for winter storage.

“Tree watering bags are an efficient tree watering tool that makes it easy to be certain that young trees have enough water to grow,” said Binzley. “The bags can hold 20 gallons of water and have small holes at the bottom allowing the bag to empty over a 5–8-hour period over the roots of the tree. Watering this way allows for the soil around the roots to be saturated up to 8 inches below ground.”

After a few years of growth, the roots develop and spread deep enough so they are self-sustaining and no longer need the assistance of watering bags.

The watering bags need to be filled weekly to provide enough water for the tree. If there is an inch or more of rainfall during the week, the bag doesn’t need to be filled. If the leaves show signs of wilting, being undersized, and/or browning, it may be due to the tree not receiving enough water. In these cases, increasing watering to two bags a week is recommended.

For further information about the Viroqua Tree Planting and Tree Bag Program please contact Public Works Director Sarah Grainger or Intern Joe Binzley at 608-637-7186.

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