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What Happens To Trees In A Drought?

September 9, 2019 | Frontier01

Forecasts tell us we’re in for a hot, dry summer with little rainfall. Dry weather is perfect for spending days out by the pool, but not so great for our gardens and trees. While we enjoy the long days, trees in a drought can suffer.

Some of our plants and trees may already be starting to show signs of heat stress, and we’re only a week into spring! When a tree’s water supply is restricted, it can begin to show signs of stress. Symptoms of stress include discolouration of leaves, dropping leaves and increased deadwood throughout the trees canopy. When trees are left in this state, they are susceptible to disease and can ultimately die.

Here’s what you can do to help your trees in a drought:

Mulch

The number one rule for retaining moisture in garden beds and around trees is fresh mulch. Mulch is a natural insulator, helping keep the ground cold during hot, dry days. It will help retain moisture in the soil and keep pesky weeds at bay.

There are many different types of woodchip mulch readily available from landscape supply yards or garden centres. It’s best to apply a layer approximately 100mm thick, leaving a small space around the base of your trees.

Tree Pruning

Have an Arborist inspect your trees and undertake pruning to remove any dead or dying branches. Engaging an Arborist to prune deadwood from your trees will reduce the risk of branch failure, which reduces the risk of disease and ultimately keeps your tree alive.

Responsible Watering

When water restrictions are in place, keep the garden watered becomes a challenge. A sprinkler or irrigation system that’s connected to a water tank is a fantastic way to keep our trees hydrated and use water responsibly.

If you don’t have a sprinkler or irrigation system, use alternative sources of water from around your home. Collecting water from showers, basins and your laundry is a great way to keep the gardens hydrated, and your water bill down. Greywater from showers and hand basins is perfect for using on non-edible gardens as they contain the least amount of household chemicals. Tricks like these will keep your water bill down and stop you getting in trouble with your local council.

Click here for more water-saving tips.

Arborist Inspection

Have a qualified Arborist inspect your tree. An arborist will look for signs of structural weakness. Cracks or gaps in the soil around the base of the tree, any fungus growth or wounds that may indicate decay or weakness. Many trees that fail during summer storms are trees that have experienced structural weakness for some time. It’s essential to have this correctly identified so you can act on it immediately to avoid complete tree failure.

If you have concerns regarding the health of your trees, please give our team a call on 07 5574 4477. We’re always happy to have a chat about your tree concerns and help in any way we can. We want you back outside enjoying the summer, in a safe outdoor space.

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