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Loving Your Little Landscape

I have never been a natural gardener. For years, I struggled to keep basic houseplants alive, only to kill them at the first opportunity. It was difficult and stressful to buy a home with a yard, but I knew that I might be able to learn what I was doing wrong and correct the problem. To start off, I focused heavily on the lawn, and tried hard to keep it trimmed and well-maintained. Next, I cleaned up the flowerbeds. It was a lot of work, but I knew that it would pay off in the end. When I was done, my front yard was gorgeous, and guess what--it even stayed alive. This blog is all about loving your little landscape.

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Loving Your Little Landscape

Caring For Your Trees During A Drought

by Charlotte White

Drought conditions are plaguing much of the country, and many homeowners may be wondering what they can do to keep their trees healthy during the hottest months of the year. By following the tips below, by monitoring your trees for disease and pest infestation and hiring a tree service for pruning and trimming, you'll increase their chances of weathering the drought.

Warning Signs of Drought

It's hard for the untrained eye to see signs of drought. A tree's inner processes can be damaged during a drought, and the damage starts beneath the soil in the roots. Damage happens long before there are visible signs of trouble; as the tree tries to conserve water by closing the leaf stomates, smaller roots die and it becomes more difficult for the tree to absorb water.

Drought Can Start a Vicious Cycle

When a tree's roots fail and it can no longer absorb nutrients or water, its entire circulatory system is compromised. With less nutrients and water for photosynthesis, the tree cannot feed itself, and its growth becomes stunted. This in turn compromises the tree's ability to fight off insect infestation and disease, and its health continues to deteriorate.

Diseases and Pests

When a tree experiences drought-related decline, opportunistic pests often take over. To protect stressed trees, your tree care service may apply a layer of composted mulch from the root zone to the drip line. Mulch holds moisture long enough for the tree's roots to absorb it, and it nourishes the soil. Important trees can be protected with chemical sprays or injections, but this treatment should be done before drought damage becomes apparent.

Caring for Drought-Damaged Trees

To sustain your trees through the dry season, water them deeply with an irrigation system or soaker hose. However, as more trees become affected and more cities pass watering bans, it may be best to focus your efforts on trees that are salvageable. The amount of water your trees need depends on your climate and your soil, as well as the type of irrigation you're doing. Trees and lawns should be watered separately, to fulfill their individual needs. Your tree care service will take the following steps while abiding by local watering restrictions.

  • Mulch will be spread, 3" thick out to the tree's drip line.
  • High-nitrogen fertilizer usage will be eliminated or reduced, to lower the amount of stress on the tree.
  • Dead wood will be trimmed to reduce the tree's vulnerability to pests and disease.

The Aftereffects of Drought

After a drought ends, trees can be affected for up to five years. Trees have their own ways of coping with drought cycles, but the weakest trees on your property could be vulnerable. A professional tree trimming service like Treetime Inc can evaluate your trees and recommend treatments that could be potentially lifesaving.

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