Friday, August 23, 2013

Trees Get Thirsty Too!

How you can help spot your community’s stressed, thirsty trees and give them the water they need to restore their spring vigor?

Chicago-area tree canopies may be experiencing a little bit of stress lately with the lack of rain we've been had. The rainy and cool beginning to spring that stretched into summer has quickly ended with little to no rain for weeks and now soaring temperatures. Yes, it has been a strange summer in terms of weather and if we think so, so do our trees and plants. 

As a result, our once lush trees are withering under the pressure. Throughout Chicagoland, especially in the more recently developed residential communities where trees tend to be younger and less mature, leaves are turning yellow, drooping and even falling off. This is not because fall is on its way. This is because of the lack of water! This is a protective mechanism since trees lose moisture through transpiration on their leaves. The leaves droop in an effort to create a smaller surface area to lose the moisture from. You can help spot and soothe your stressed trees by following these recommendations:

  • Look for trees that are yellow in color or look ‘scorched’ with a red outline that have drooping branches and/or already experienced a loss of leaves.
  • Water trees with a soaker hose or another hose with a low flow. This way the water can soak in rather than just run off the surface.
  • Place two 20 litre buckets and drill holes in the bottom of the tree. Buckets can then be placed next to the tree and filled with water. The water will seep through the holes to the feeder roots, which are often located a small distance away from the trunk.
  • Do not prune tree branches on your own. Even if the leaves have fallen, the branch could still be alive and possibly bud new leaves later in the summer. Contact a qualified arborist, like the ones at Trees "R" Us, Inc., for any pruning or questions.
  • Ensure to water close to the drip line. The drip line being the edge of a tree’s canopy on the ground all the way around the tree

Older trees in well-established areas will be able to withstand the heat better than younger trees planted within two to three years in recently developed areas. Older trees have a well-established root system, whereas young trees are planted in areas that lack the organic matter that retains the moisture trees need to flourish. Older trees should remain healthy trees. Our communities are designed to get rid of water quickly, so it’s challenging for trees to get enough of water. If you require the services of a professional and dedicated arborist, and are in the Chicagoland area or suburbs, contact Trees "R" Us, Inc. and we will be more than happy to answer any of your questions or send over a qualified arborist for a free estimation on any of your tree care needs.

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