Undoubtedly, various weather conditions can affect particular geographic locations more than others. In Austin, Texas, one weather extreme may be drought, which, of course, is an extended period of dryness. Couple this with the warmer temperatures that frequently abound here, and there exists some considerable potential for the demise of many plants. This is also true of landscaping trees. Though preventing acts of nature, specifically drought, is not possible, there are some steps that can be taken to help minimize its effects while enduring it.

First, it is important to know the signs of stress drought-stricken trees may exhibit. Although these signs are not all-encompassing, they are actually quite logical and may include yellowing or other discoloration of the leaves, wilting of the leaves, or dropping of the leaves. Also consider the surrounding soil for signs of stress. During periods of extreme drought, soil will harden and become quite compact. It may even begin to crack. If any such findings are noted, it is likely that your tree is suffering from stress brought on by drought.

During periods of drought, it is possible to sustain landscaping trees by watering. Watering should occur evenly throughout the entire circumference of the tree. In other words, the area from the dripline inward should be saturated to ensure that the tree’s roots are nourished. For any evergreens planted on your landscape, it is recommended that watering cover the circumference of the tree up to five feet beyond the dripline. And unlike natural rainfall, which first makes contact with the tree in its canopy, it is important that watering a tree during a period of drought be done as previously described. Watering upward toward the leaves will not produce the same effect during a period of drought as natural rainfall during typical regional climate conditions.

The amount of water to use when watering a tree, as well as the time necessary to ensure the tree’s vitality, will depend upon the tree. However, there is a rudimentary formula that may be used to determine both. The formula typically requires only that the diameter of the tree be known, but it is important to be aware that the level of water pressure used during the watering may alter things a bit. Consult an Austin arborist for assistance in determining how much water and time are needed to sustain your particular species of landscaping tree(s).

Frequently, and understandably, when there is drought, municipalities frequently set watering restrictions. However, there are still ways to attempt preservation of your landscaping tree’s vitality. For instance, use mulch around the circumference of your tree. The use of mulch helps to retain moisture.

Refrain from using fertilizer. With limited or no water available, the use of fertilizer may burn roots or, conversely, may even stimulate further growth of the tree without the ability to maintain it.

Treat any additional non-drought related stressors immediately, including pests, such as those responsible for Austin oak wilt.

Increase the chances for sustainability by contacting an Austin tree trimming professional to help with properly applied trimming techniques.

Finally, when planting landscaping trees in Austin or any other geographical location sometimes affected by drought, consider planting trees more tolerable of drought conditions, especially extreme aridity and lack of precipitation. Consult an Austin tree care professional to determine which species are best suited for this.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit https://centraltexastr.wpengine.com.

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