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Drought Days Ahead

Drought Stricken Tree

When an area experiences a drought, sparse rainfall does not necessarily mean that the drought is over. A drought is defined as a “period of abnormally dry weather sufficiently prolonged for the lack of water to cause serious hydrologic imbalance in the affected area” by the Glossary of Meteorology (1959). The lack of precipitation over an extended period of time will result in damage to crops, pastures, and especially trees. For trees, this means that moisture in the ground is limited and in turn means that trees are not receiving the nutrients they need.

The stress that droughts bring to trees can have major impacts to their health and survival. Prolonged periods without precipitation can mean trees are more susceptible to pests and diseases leaving our trees weakened and can possibly kill all or part of the tree. With less moisture in the soil as necessary, this can result in root damage. Symptoms of root damage include poor growth, wilted or curled leaves, marginal browning leaves, early leaf drop and may eventually lead to death. Without proper watering, trees do not produce the defense chemicals they need to ward off their inhibitors.

Obviously we cannot prevent droughts from happening but we should be aware of the effects it has on our trees. Unfortunately, we may not see the outcomes of drought effects until a few years have passed and it has become too late. You may notice your canopy thinning, poor or stunted growth, new leaves are smaller or an increase in pests. Although we cannot prevent a drought from happening, we can make sure to give our trees and shrubs some extra care during these periods of time.

We often focus on making sure we water our grass when we are in a drought. This same mindset should be put in place for our trees and shrubs. With watering bans in place, take notice of your specific community guidelines; you may not be able to water your grass but you may be able to water your trees and shrubs. The decline of our trees can make our yards look just as sad as dead grass, so have one of our certified arborists assess your property today. Contact Homer Tree Care today!

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