No matter where you live in the United States, droughts may be an unavoidable part of summer. Unfortunately, even if a drought doesn’t affect your health, it will impact the health and wellness of your trees. A consistent lack of rainfall and moisture can prove disastrous to your trees, which in turn can be difficult and expensive to remove and replace. Don’t needlessly place your trees at risk. Instead, here are a few simple tips to protect your trees during a drought:

Tips for Caring for Your Trees During a Drought

Signs Your Trees Are in Trouble

If you’re in the midst of a drought, you might be concerned about the welfare of your trees. However, before you become too unnerved, remember that trees are very resilient, and some trees are more resistant to drought than others.

For example, the California sycamore, holly oak, and western sycamore are all very drought-resistant, and are able to easily survive with minimal interventions. However, if you’re not sure which type of trees are in your yard, or if your trees don’t look healthy, you might wonder if you should take action.

Here are a few signs that your tree is negatively impacted by a drought:

  • Leaves that are undersized, wilting, or falling off prematurely
  • Leaves that change color far too early
  • The presence of certain insects, including the black turpentine beetle and the bronze birch borer

If you suspect that your trees are being impacted by the drought, but aren’t sure, don’t hesitate to ask a professional arborist for assistance.

Providing Adequate Water

Once you’ve established your trees are impacted by the drought, your first step is to provide them with adequate water. However, this can be tricky if you’re not sure how much water to provide and how often. The answer to these questions is dependent upon several factors, including the age of the tree.

Typically, a younger tree will require more water more frequently than an older, established tree. However, if you aren’t sure how old your trees are, there is a simple way to ensure your trees get an adequate amount of water, no matter their age.

Begin by testing your soil at a depth of at least four inches. If there is moisture at this depth, you won’t need to water your tree just yet. However, if there isn’t moisture, provide your tree with a healthy drink until the water reaches a depth of at least 10 inches.

It is important to water your tree from the trunk outward toward the drip line. The drip line is the outermost point of the canopy. At this spot underground, the feeder roots grow and typically receive moisture when rain drips off the tree’s leafy canopy.

The best way to water your trees is slowly, which helps ensure the moisture has time to completely soak into the soil. One of the most effective ways to water trees during a drought is with a drip irrigation system. An arborist can assist you in creating a system that is inexpensive and provides your tree’s root system with the moisture it requires to survive.

Timing Is Everything

Now that you know how to water your tree, make sure you know when to water your trees. Typically, the best time to water your trees is early in the morning, or after the sun goes down. This will ensure that the sun doesn’t cause any water soaking into the soil to evaporate too quickly.

Caring for your trees during a drought is critical because it can mean the difference between them surviving, or perishing from lack of moisture. If you have any further questions about caring for your trees, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Smitty’s Tree Service, Inc.