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Water, Water, Water!!!

That is about the only advice that I can give during this drought. Lawns are dormant, but trees and shrubs aren’t. As a result, I am seeing a significant amount of stress, wilt and even death even among mature trees.

While watering mature trees will not help your next water bill, it is certainly less expensive than replacing trees. That’s why I spend almost every evening in my yard watering the more than 500 trees on my property. I don’t water each one every night. Nor should you. Each one needs at least an inch of water a week, and it is better for the plants if you apply it all at once.

Any tree that was planted within the last 18 to 24 months needs to be watered. Evergreens of every age should be watered, especially concolor firs (also known as white firs). Unlike deciduous trees, evergreens’ signs of stress are not wilting leaves and drooping branches. They just up and die. This is especially true for concolor firs. Consequently, you need to water even mature evergreens.

Deciduous trees are not immune. Many mature shade trees are very stressed right now, especially maples. This means they, too, need water.

Please refer to my post of July 3, entitled “Don’t let your Plants Be Drought Victims,” for the best trees and shrub watering methods and times.

It rained on Thursday, but don’t let a day of rain lull you into thinking that the drought is over. A day of rain can provide a little relief temporarily, but stressed trees and shrubs are going to need a lot more water to bring them back to specimen condition. And, do not fertilize during this drought. Wait until fall to fertilize.

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