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Protecting Your Trees From the Stress of Heat and Drought

Not only can summers get scorching hot, but drought is also a concern. The combination of heat, blasting sunlight and lack of water can torment even the hardiest of trees. But there are things you can do to help your trees survive such stress.

What to Do When a Heat Wave or Drought Is Coming

First, you’ll need to give your trees a deep watering. This is more than a few gallons of water poured over the top layer of roots. Heat dries out the soil surprisingly quickly, and your tree’s roots will be starved of needed water. The rule of thumb used by arborists is to give a tree 10 gallons of water for 1 inch of the diameter of its trunk. So, a tree whose trunk is 3 feet in diameter needs to get a whopping 360 gallons of water to be considered watered thoroughly and deeply.

Also, you’ll need to make sure that the tree is watered at its drip line as well as around its trunk. The drip line, which describes the area where the canopy ends, is where its feeder roots are. Clearly, deep watering takes time, so a drip irrigation system may be a good investment if you have several mature trees on your property. Another tip is to water your trees in the morning before the sun is at its most powerful.

Don’t Mow Your Lawn

This is a good idea for both your trees and your lawn during a heat wave. Mowing a lawn invariably traumatizes the grass, and heat adds to the trauma. Letting the grass grow a bit taller than you’d prefer also keeps the ground cool and helps it to hold on to moisture. This helps trees, grass, shrubs and other plants that grow on your property. The optimal height of grass during a heat wave is between 3 to 6 inches.

Mulch Around the Tree

Like letting the grass grow, mulching helps the ground retain water and stay cool. Mulch can be made from a variety of materials, including wood chips, pine needles, straw, fallen leaves, sawdust, gravel and torn-up newsprint. Some people even use open black plastic trash bags, coffee grinds, coconut shells or even sea glass. Just make sure that the mulch doesn’t touch the place where the roots meet the trunk for that can cause the area to rot.

Learn More About Protecting Your Trees From the Heat

Just because you can’t bring your trees indoors out of a brutal spell of heat and drought doesn’t mean they can’t be protected. Don’t hesitate to turn to our experienced arborists if you need help with your trees. If you need trimming or pruning or even tree removal services, contact us at Midtown Tree Service in Tulsa, OK today.

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