Proper care can help your trees thrive after drought
The effects of drought on trees may not be evident immediately, but without proper care, trees will die due to excessive heat.
Usually, trees will flash warning signs of stress before eventual demise. They lose limbs when their roots experience damage. The leaves wilt, curl at the edges, change color and fall prematurely. The trees may develop shoots in the lower part of their trunks. These are signs the tree is under stress and needs extra care.
Proper care will help your tree survive during tough times and prosper afterwards. Here are some things you can do now that will help your trees during and after drought.
1. Deep watering helps your trees after drought.
Trees need deep and infrequent watering to stay alive during excessive heat. Wet the soil around your trees with 18 inches of water at various times. Take soil samples to see if your trees need fertilizer. Fertilize before the middle of September to avoid interrupting your tree’s preparation for the winter. It is advisable to avoid fertilizing trees under severe stress as salt in fertilizer may burn the root. Aerate the soil around your trees if necessary to aid water absorption and air circulation. Water slowly, dispersing the flow of water to get the water down deep into the root system.
2. Prune your trees at the right time.
The dormant season is the best time to prune your trees. Removing dead branches allows your trees to breathe and prepare for the coming winter. Dead branches also attract insects and pests, and removing them means your tree is not a magnet for deadly pests.
3. Apply mulch around your trees to encourage growth
Applying mulch around your trees encourages healthy growth and promotes longer life. One of the best things you can do for your trees during drought is to apply up to four inches of mulch around them. Avoid mulch volcanoes around your trees as they deprive the trees of needed nutrients and encourage pests and diseases.
4. Avoid herbicides on your lawns
Heavy herbicide application during drought may harm your trees if those herbicides get into the root system. Stressed trees die as a result. Look for heavy insect activity in and around your trees and treat them as necessary.