Rescuing Trees In Drought | Maintaining Lawns And Gardens

Rescuing Trees In Drought | Maintaining Lawns And Gardens

A hot dry summer can really take its toll on plants, so when you’re trying to keep yours and your clients plants alive during this time, remember the trees. First up, spread 50 to 75 mm of coarse grade mulch around the base of the tree, extending out as far as you think is practical. This’ll reduce evaporation, reduce weed competition for what water is available, and will even help you keep the surface root zone area cooler.

With scarcity of water special survival strategies may need to be implemented. Wait for the leaves to start dropping, then give the trees a good 50mm soak. If you’re under severe water rationing, you may not be able to water the entire tree.

Make sure you water at least half the radius of the trees water intake zone, and the next time you can water the other half. 50mm of water should last at least 10 days in hot conditions. If you only water lightly, most of the trees feeder roots will be in the top 75mm of soil, which makes it more susceptible to injury. In a severe drought emergency, focus on the hardiest plants. Abandon, or get rid of the weak ones.

Only as a last resort prune the tree. It is generally dangerous to do this when a tree is stressed by summer and a lack of water, coupled with other detrimental effects. Gardeners often are told that pruning woody plants helps reduce water use.

However, half the tree’s foliage would have to be pruned to have any real noticeable effect. Taking that much foliage reduces shade that shelters the rest of the tree, and could lead to sunburn. In or out of drought severe incorrect pruning can kill a tree, so before pruning you should research the best times and appropriate pruning techniques, or better still have an expert do it.

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