Tree Drought Care

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How To Care For Your Trees In A Drought

Trees are an essential part of any landscape, providing shade, oxygen, and beauty. However, during times of drought, trees can become stressed and may even die if not properly cared for. In this article, we will explore some tips on how to care for your trees during a drought.

  1. Water deeply and infrequently – During a drought, it is important to water trees deeply and infrequently rather than giving them small amounts of water frequently. This encourages the tree’s roots to grow deeper into the soil, where they can access more moisture. Watering should be done slowly and evenly, so the water has a chance to soak into the ground rather than running off.
  2. Use mulch – Mulching around the base of your trees can help to conserve moisture in the soil and regulate soil temperature. Mulch also helps to prevent weeds from growing, which can compete with trees for water and nutrients. Apply a 2-3 inch layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips or shredded leaves, around the base of the tree, taking care to avoid piling the mulch against the trunk.
  3. Prune properly – Pruning trees during a drought can be stressful for the tree, so it is important to only prune as necessary and to avoid pruning during the hottest part of the day. Focus on removing dead or damaged branches and avoid pruning healthy branches unless they are obstructing a path or creating a safety hazard.
  4. Avoid fertilizing – During a drought, it is best to avoid fertilizing trees, as this can stimulate new growth that requires additional water. Instead, focus on maintaining the tree’s overall health through proper watering and mulching.
  5. Monitor for pests and diseases – Drought-stressed trees are more susceptible to pests and diseases, so it is important to monitor your trees for signs of damage. Look for yellowing or wilting leaves, bark damage, or signs of insect infestations. If you notice any issues, consult a certified arborist for advice on how to address the problem.

In conclusion, caring for trees during a drought requires a few simple steps, including deep watering, mulching, proper pruning, avoiding fertilization, and monitoring for pests and diseases. By taking these steps, you can help your trees survive and thrive during periods of drought, ensuring that they continue to provide beauty and benefits to your landscape for years to come.

References: SunsetUC ANR