Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tree Care and Flooding

Here in Chicagoland, the rain has been relentless.  Too much rain!  We went from weeks with not even a drop to flooding.  So how does this affect your trees?

Provided the flood is just from a few quick passing storms that are really just rain storms, not the kind of storm that brings damaging winds, trees probably enjoy a flood.  City trees that are surrounded by medians and sidewalks especially love this weather because those hard surfaces are generally so dry.

But most floods often caused by torrential rainstorms over water-saturated soils or, in urban areas, by inadequate or blocked drainage channels-are just way too much of a good thing. And although they're more common in the relatively flat and wet Southeast, floods are a weather fact-of-life across the country.

One way that floods damage trees is by softening or removing soil that supports the tree's roots.  Trees standing in wet soil are like you standing on a bog, trying to keep your balance with the ground moving under you.  Trees can lose their ability to hang on.

Although "swamp trees," such as red maple and sycamore, are accustomed to wet, poorly aerated soils and may be less damaged than other species, prolonged submergence can damage any tree. Tree survival in flood-prone areas can be improved by careful species selection and, if possible, by providing ways for water to drain off quickly rather than evaporate slowly.  As for trees that manage to hang on, only to succumb later, two theories exist on how damage occurs: one, that organic toxins accumulate in the soil, and two, that aeration is reduced by the standing water. Whatever the cause, the typical early-warning sign of flood damage in standing trees is chlorosis- pale-colored leaves that have lost chlorophyll. Chlorosis generally is followed by leaf browning and ultimately, leaf loss.

Although we do our best to protect our trees, there are times when Mother Nature has other plans.  If Mother Nature has damaged your trees in any way, it's time to call a professional tree service or certified  arborist.  Trees "R" Us, inc. has all the necessary equipment and experience to get the job done safely and professionally.  If you're on Chicago's North Shore or in one of the many surrounding suburbs we service, Trees "R" Us, Inc. is the right choice for your tree care needs.

Thanks for reading,
Nick
nick@treesrusinc.com

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