A couple weeks ago we shared wise watering guidelines to help our trees through the drought. This week we share even more ways you can help protect your trees from drought.
- <Place mulch over tree roots. Mulch 2-4 inches around your trees to reduce moisture loss, but do NOT allow mulch to touch the tree trunk because it can create excessive moisture, which can block oxygen to the roots or cause root rot.
- Use organic mulches (wood chips, bark, etc. not inorganics such as stones) in order to conserve soil moisture and moderate soil temperature.
Keep well-pruned trees, but do not prune unless absolutely necessary during drought:
- Properly prune trees by removing dead and damaged branches. This improves structure, limb stability and helps the tree survive the stress of drought.
- Do not prune live branches as this forces the tree to expend energy to heal the wound from the cut. Removing live foliage also reduces the capacity of the tree to grow once rains return.
Do not fertilize a tree that is under drought stress:
- Do not fertilize trees in extended drought since this pulls water from the roots and forces the tree to expend precious energy to process the fertilizer. Salts in fertilizer may burn roots when there is not sufficient water. Fertilizers may also stimulate top growth resulting in too much leaf area on the plant for the root system to maintain during periods of limited soil moisture
- Do not dig under the canopy of a tree during drought because this will reduce the capacity of the tree to uptake water.
Prioritize trees over lawns.
- Lawns can be replaced in a matter of months whereas a 20 year old tree will take 20 years to replace.
Employ professional assistance:
- One of the best ways to help your trees through drought is keeping it healthy in general. A certified arborist can help you in good times and bad. They can assess the health of your trees and look for drought-related stress. They can also provide advice on other ways to reduce impacts on your trees and its roots including pests and other stress-related diseases.
Research shows that landscaping can increase property values by up to 20%. And it should be no surprise that trees are a huge part of creating the look and feel of landscaping. Trees are an investment in your property, providing the greatest economic and environmental benefits. Because of that, it is important to keep them healthy so that can repay you. Under prolonged exposure to drought conditions, trees can suffer irreversible damage – it pays to invest from the ground up!
Check out our Infographic on water wise tips.