The damage from a drought aren't nearly as visible on mature trees as it would be on grass or smaller plants. That doesn't mean that your landscape trees are unaffected, though. Often you won't notice the damage until next year, when a poor showing of leaves or flowers is produced. The following tips can help you better care for your tree during a drought so it continues to grow well for its entire life.
Tip #1: Know the signs of drought stress
Due to their deep roots, trees can go without rain much longer than many other plants. This is why it's vital that you recognize when a tree is feeling the pain of no water. For deciduous trees, the symptoms include leaves yellowing at the tips with the edges curling inward. The leaves may also look wilted. Its harder to recognize drought stress in evergreens. Generally, the needles begin to yellow or discolor at the tips,
Tip #2: Water deeply and slowly
Shallow watering, which only wets the surface, does little good for trees no matter how often you do it. This is because the main water seeking roots are down much deeper. To water deeply, saturate the top 12 inches of soil. A simple of of doing this is to have a 6-inch high elevated ring of soil around the trunk of the tree, and to fill in this ring with water so that it slowly seeps into the ground. An alternate method is to coil a soaker hose around the tree and to leave it running for a half hour or so. Do this every 10 days or so during a drought.
Tip #3: Cover a wide area
You don't just want the water concentrated near the trunk. This can lead to a limited width root ball, which leaves the tree weakened against wind and other outside forces. Instead, make sure the bulk of the main root zone is watered. For most trees, this extends out to the drip line of the tree. This is the distance between the trunk and the tips of the outermost branches.
Tip #4: Conserve soil moisture
Conserving the moisture in the soil will further help you avoid drought stress. The easiest way to do this is with the use of a mulch so the soil over the roots isn't exposed. An inch or two of wood chips works well, just make sure they don't rest directly against the trunk. Living mulch, including grass and other groundcovers, also works well.
For more help, contact a tree service like Todd's Tree Service Inc in your area.