Spring is here but summer is coming quickly! With South Carolina's weather patterns being so unpredictable, we get extreme cold and heat in short spans of time. We need to be prepared for heat early on in the spring, especially with our landscapes. During the dry summer months, you’re unlikely to forget to make sure your grass gets plenty of water—a brown, brittle lawn will be enough to remind you to turn on the sprinklers. But the signs of drought damage take longer to show up in trees, and the effects can be more far-reaching.
Water is vital to your tree’s ability to manufacture food, so when it doesn’t get enough, the tree will begin to weaken, and its growth will slow. While the soil remains dry, the fine feeder roots that spread out just below the surface begin to die, meaning they no longer carry water to support the rest of the tree. Finally, the drought damage will become apparent as the tree’s foliage begins to die.
Some visual symptoms of a dehydrated tree include: • wilted foliage • a sparse canopy of leaves that are small or off-color • scorched leaves • yellowing • premature leaf drop • premature fall coloration
Rain will return, and the tree may eventually regain some of its health, but with many of its roots gone, it won’t be able to get all the water it needs.
So how can you help your tree survive?
• Know when the dry months are in your area and begin watering early on. • Follow our tips for mulching to help your tree hold moisture. • After the rain returns, apply fertilizer to encourage growth. • Watch out for pests and disease, as drought-weakened trees are more vulnerable. Of course, during a severe drought, you don’t want to over-use water, but do what you can and watch your tree’s foliage for signs of drought damage. If you’re not sure whether these steps are doing enough to protect your tree, contact a certified arborist for help in keeping your tree hydrated all season long.
If you have a tree that is already gone too far and can't recover, it may need to come down in order to help prevent the spread of disease and wood boring insects. It's also a danger to any buildings within it's reach. Call Southeastern Tree Removal to help you with removal or to help you figure out if the tree is salvegable.