Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) is launching a new outreach effort to encourage proper tree watering as California enters a third year of serious drought and PCWA asks customers to reduce water by 20 percent.

The outreach campaign features Colfax High School’s newly-formed “Bucket Band” to raise awareness that a 5-gallon bucket is a great way to water young trees. The 12-member band, which was drawn from students in the high school’s music program, performs an original composition in the video as PCWA’s Linda Higgins demonstrates the “Bucket Method” for watering trees.

“Trees younger than 5 years old are most at risk during drought and the hot summer months, especially as lawn watering is reduced,” said Higgins, who is PCWA’s Deputy Director of Customer Services. “To thrive, trees need water delivered slowly and deeply, ideally using drip irrigation. When that’s not possible, trees need extra help, and a 5-gallon bucket is a great tool.”

Here’s what to do:

  • Drill an 1/8” hole in a 5-gallon bucket about an inch from the bottom.
  • Cover the hole with tape and fill with water.
  • Place the bucket about a foot away from the tree trunk and remove the tape.
  • Refill the bucket and repeat on the other side.

Young trees need two to three buckets (10 to 15 gallons) of water per week.

A special thanks to Colfax High School’s Principal Paul Lundberg, Music Teacher Todd Wilkinson and student musicians for participating, and Green Acres Nursery & Supply for donating the 5-gallon buckets used in the public service video!