Residents of Dallas and cities across Texas can help their property and the city mitigate the urban heat through proper summer tree watering techniques and planting the right trees in the right place when the tree planting season resumes this fall.
July 19, 2022 11:00 am CDT
DALLAS, July 19, 2022 (Newswire.com) —
With 75.7% of the state of Texas in a severe drought and Dallas Heat Index readings of 105°F or higher, the Texas Trees Foundation hears common questions like “How much do I need to water my new and existing trees?”. and “How should I care for my tree during a drought?”
Watering trees during drought
During drought and water restrictions trees should be given priority over other landscape plants, including lawns. A lawn that is not watered will naturally go dormant and brown for the season, but may turn green again after a rainfall or when watering is reintroduced. Even if overseeding or overseeding is necessary, a lawn can often be replanted in a single season – a large tree cannot. Most importantly, during a drought, the goal of watering should be to maintain the tree and not water it for maximum growth.
Instead of watering established trees at the trunk, water outwards from the dripline (edge of branches). Apply water in a circular stripe at least half the width of the distance from the stem to the drip line.
Trees should be watered slowly and deeply. Spray irrigation (sprinklers) are great for lawns, but not for trees. Instead, use a bubbler, multi-dropper, or hand-held hose to inject water into the tree’s root zone. Water the soil one to two feet deep at a time. The easiest watering method is to use a slow trickle garden hose and leave it in different zones inside the drip line until you can easily stick a screwdriver into the soil. Deep watering promotes deep rooting; Deep roots are best for a tree to survive drought. Water established trees every two weeks during the growing season.
“Please follow any water use restrictions in your area when watering your trees,” says Rachel McGregor, TTF Urban Forester. “Trees represent a tremendous benefit to our landscape by reducing heating and cooling costs in our homes, purifying the air we breathe, improving mental and physical health, reducing stormwater runoff, and many other benefits.”
Watering tips in summer when it is dry:
- Water in the morning or evening from 19:00 – 08:00
- Avoid watering during the hottest part of the day, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., as more water is lost to evaporation.
- Many plants, including peat grass, compete for available water within the soil root zone. The water competition can be strong. Remove grass and excess plant competition from all trees to reduce water stress.
- Use mulch to conserve water and discourage weed competition. In addition to minimizing evaporation of soil moisture and limiting stormwater runoff, mulch protects the tree from damage from mowers and weed cutters. Wood chips and shredded bark can be used for mulching. Cover the area about 2 to 3 inches deep; Avoid the area next to the tree trunk.
- Do not fertilize or prune during the summer months. Fertilizers encourage growth that the tree cannot sustain under unfavorable conditions, and pruning of photosynthetic material (leaves) deprives an already stressed tree of nutrition. Remove only dead or dangerous branches.
What is urban heat?
Urban centers throughout the state experience higher temperatures than the surrounding areas.
Read more about urban heat: https://bit.ly/3ayGWa.
Resource link: https://bit.ly/3ayGWaj
Media contact: Kristy Offenburger, (469) 859-1979, [email protected]
Source: Texas Trees Foundation