The Unintended Consequences of the Drought

In this severe drought, it seems that most people are more concerned about their lawns and landscape plantings and not concerned enough about the trees. Whether they are native or once container grown, they are all experiencing the effects of this current drought situation.

How the Drought Effects Trees

1) The constant loss of leaf mass and the regeneration attempts at creating new leaf due to lack of sustaining moisture to the tree canopy. Aside from the constant leaf mess in the landscape, over time, the tree begins to lose ground in both retaining existing leaf mass and the ability to grow new ones.

2) If a drought lasts a long time, tree roots that would usually grow deeper (helping with the trees stability) will now grow nearer the surface of the soil trying to take advantage of whatever moisture is available. Eventually, these trees will become weaker and are in potential danger of falling and splitting in severe winds.

3) Due to the fact that the trees are under stress from the drought situation, the trees are more and more open to developing insect colonies and or diseases. Weak trees are perfect habitats for insect and disease infestations to develop and thrive. This situation can lead to death of the tree.

It seems there are a few solutions to fixing this problem of dying trees. Either watering them within the county regulated times and restrictions or get a new tree that’s more drought resistant.

Continued Watering- If one continues to water the dying tree, the smartest thing to do is to get educated on how to do it correctly. This entails finding out the allowed times to water, and best way to water the tree. Asking a landscape or tree professional to help would make this easier. This site outlines how:

http://houstonlandscapemulch.com/save_drought_stressed_trees.htm

New Trees? If one chooses to plant a more drought resistant tree, make sure you get the right ones. Pepper Trees, Cypress, California Sycamore, Mesquite Trees, and Oaks are all good choices.

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