One of the most common questions that homeowners have about the trees in their yard is when they should and should not trim them. For example, if your property is in an area that is plagued by drought conditions, can tree trimming reduce the water demand on the tree? What are the signs that your tree is suffering from the drought conditions? Here are a few tips to help you take care of your trees until the drought conditions ease up.
How Do You Spot Trees Stressed by Drought?
Trees that are struggling with drought conditions can hide their symptoms for quite some time. Some of the damage to the tree may not even be apparent for years after the drought conditions ease. It is in your best interest to understand what the earliest signs of drought stress are to help protect your trees.
For example, the leaves of many trees that experience drought stress will turn yellow or brown and may start to curl on the edges. Sometimes, the leaves will wilt as well. If it's an evergreen tree, the needles will start to brown on the tips and the rest of the needle will turn yellow. As the conditions worsen, the tree will start dropping leaves, and the leaves may even grow back smaller. While the drought may not kill the tree, it will weaken it and leave it vulnerable to insects and disease.
Should You Trim Your Trees During Drought?
Don't trim drought-stressed trees until after they've recovered from the water shortage. Take some time to water the tree well before you trim any branches. That way, the tree will have the resources that it needs to focus its energy on new, fresh growth.
What Can You Do To Help Drought-Stressed Trees?
The best thing you can do for your trees to combat drought is prolonged, slow watering. It's just important that you get the water to the deepest parts of the roots for the best absorption. Saturate the soil in an area wide enough that it will reach all of the roots. This often means saturating all the way out to the outer edges of the branch lengths. Once the soil at the surface is fully saturated, the water will seep into the roots.
You'll also want to water them at a slow rate so that the water trickles into the soil over a long period. Applying water slowly over an hour or so will help the water saturate more effectively so that it doesn't just run off.