Just like humans, trees need their fair share of care to thrive, especially when Mother Nature throws a curveball like a parching drought. Does one of your beloved specimens seem in bad shape during a dry spell? Don’t panic.
As the go-to tree arborist in West Chester, PA, Rick’s PHC Certified Arborists has a keen understanding of drought stress in trees. Keep reading for ways to keep your trees happy and green, even when the weather’s dry enough to make a cactus feel at home.
Spotting the Symptoms of Drought Stress
Trees can’t ask for a drink of water, so it’s our job to read the signs and step in when necessary. Here’s a checklist to help you determine if your trees need supplemental watering:
- Are there wilted or drooping leaves?
- Are you noticing unseasonal leaf drops?
- Is there stunted growth?
- Is there foliage discoloration?
- Are there dead branches, especially near the outer tips or the top of the tree?
What to Do For Your Trees During Drought Conditions
Sprinkling a few drops of water won’t do the trick if drought stress in trees is imminent. It’s important to water the right way. Here’s how:
Timing is Important
You can’t just hose down a tree whenever it’s most convenient in your schedule. Particularly during a drought, early morning or late afternoon would be best to hydrate your specimens. This timing allows the trees to absorb enough water before it evaporates during the hottest hours of the day.
A deep, slow watering is far more beneficial than a quick sprinkle. It “trains” your tree to dive deep into the ground and establish a strong root system. So, give your thirsty tree a long, deep soak at the outer edge of the drip line (where the foliage ends).
Another good practice would be to keep the soil moist during drier seasons but not saturated.
Avoid Saline Water
The salts in highly saline water wreak havoc on a tree’s root system, leading to a condition known as salt burn. It may cause stress exacerbation or, worse, the kiss of death for the tree.
One Last Tip: Mulch Does Wonders for Soil Moisture Conservation
Mulching isn’t just for making your garden look neat and tidy; it’s a tree’s best friend during a drought. Mulch acts as a moisture-retaining blanket for the roots, especially when it consists of organic materials like wood chips, leaves, or straw. As a bonus, the right mulch will suppress weed growth and reduce the tree’s competition for water.
Reach Out to The Tree Experts for Healthier Gardens
Just like a well-balanced diet keeps us in tip-top shape, a nutritious mix of elements grows strong trees that resist the hardships of drought conditions. Unfortunately, applying the wrong type or amount of fertilizer can aggravate the situation. So why not let the experts handle this task and give your trees the best?
Call Rick’s PHC Certified Arborists at 610-840-2655 today for more tips on minimizing drought stress in trees or other situations that call for an arborist tree assessment.