drought and watering trees

Watering trees: It’s dry, and getting dryer

Texas has been experiencing a severe drought for over a decade now. The result it is having on trees is devastating. Of course we know trees need water to live, but this is not the only problem. Due the trees lack of water intake there is also a lack of nutrient intake. The trees are extremely stressed from this. This all results in weak trees with a very depleted immune system leaving trees even more susceptible to oak wilt.

Here’s a good article about how many trees have died during the drought.

And here’s an article explaining that 2013 might be the worst yet.

Some recommendations for watering trees

Maintaining proper watering during this drought will be an integral part of our trees’ survival. A general recommendation from the ISA (International Society of Arborist) is that a large mature tree be watered for a solid two hours once a month. Watering a tree is not like watering the grass. As to where you might water the grass a few times a week for twenty minutes, this does not serve a tree. Most of this water will absorbed by the turf and will not reach the tree roots. In order for it to reach the tree roots it need to soak deep into the soil. This is why a tree needs two hours. During this drought it is recommended to water the tree twice a month for two hours. If, one month we get a lot of rain, you can get away with one time in the month. If you are trying to establish a new tree, then you need to water the tree every week for the first year. 

As well you might want to consider adding amendments to the soil to make sure it has proper nutrients to aid it through this stressful time. Fertilizers such as compost can be very effect as well as cost efficient. You may want to consider microbiological activity. Adding the proper microbes to the soil can exponentially increase the tree’s immunity by increasing the tree’s water and nutrient uptake. There are other measures that can be taken such as properly mulching the tree to hold more moister in the trees roots, as well as adding a wetting agent into the soil that will increase the tree’s water uptake efficiency

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