During a drought, your trees need special attention. The trees in your yard are probably used to a regular water source.
Tip: If your trees are looking distressed and unhealthy, call Westchester Tree Life for a personalized Plant Health Care Plan!
To prevent stress, you’ll need to make sure your trees still receive enough water to stay in good health. While a healthy tree should be able to survive a drought, the stress from lack of water can lead to secondary problems such as disease and susceptibility to pests.
If you’re affected by drought, it’s important to monitor the soil in yard for moisture. Check the soil around your trees regularly; if the soil is dry and crumbly at a depth of 6 to 8 inches, you should water. Water slowly to give the soil time to absorb the water. If you are under water use restrictions, try to gradually reduce the water you supply to trees rather than suddenly stopping the water supply.
To water your trees without waste, use a soaker hose. Place the hose in a spiral pattern around the tree, beginning a few feet from the trunk. Check the soil often to see when it is saturated at a depth of 6 to 8 inches before turning off the water. Rather than water trees on a schedule, use the moisture content of the soil as your guide an only water as needed.
If you need to conserve water and can’t water your trees as often during a drought, slowly reduce the watering time over a period of weeks. This will allow your trees to adjust to less water. If possible, try to give your trees an inch of water when the surrounding soil becomes dry at that 6 to 8 inch depth.
From spring through fall, trees should be watered three times a month. You don’t need to water your trees as often as you water your tomatoes! To further conserve water, consider using wastewater to water your trees. Cooking water, the water dispensed while you wait for the shower to warm up, water from your rain gutters, and water from the kiddie pool can be used to keep the soil around your trees well hydrated.
Signs of drought stress include wilting, curling, and yellowing of the leaves. if you are concerned about the health of your trees during a drought or would like specific advice about responding to a drought, give us a call and we’ll be happy to advise you!