|Arranging a soaker hose to cover the critical root zone |
of a tree is a great method for the slow, saturated
watering that's best for trees.
Trees suffering from heat stress face problems with producing new growth, healing over wounds, and fighting against diseases and insects. If they're stressed enough, they eventually run out of energy to support their existing growth and begin to decline (sometimes irreversibly). Newly planted (within the last 2 years) and mature trees are the most at risk for serious decline, and we've seen both this summer. Particular species that seem to be suffering most include Birches, American Dogwoods, and Japanese Maples.
|Treegators are bags with tiny holes that slowly|
release water into the root zone of a tree. You can
achieve a similar effect by poking holes in the
bottom of buckets or garbage cans, filling them
with water, and placing them under trees.
So, What's the Solution?
The best way to fight heat stress in trees is through a combination of proper irrigation and organic soil amendments. Proper irrigation means focusing water on saturating the root zone of a tree. Sprinklers, for instance, aren't going to get the job done for trees, but a properly placed soaker hose will. Treegators are great solutions for young trees, which run a high risk of suffering heat stress. With a traditional garden hose, it's also possible to set the flow to a trickle and move the mouth of the hose around to four or five different areas of the root zone over the course of the day.
In terms of soil care, organic amendments increase a tree's drought tolerance without spurring new growth that it can't afford to support (which is the result of synthetic fertilization of heat stressed plants). Also, by using a soil needle injection method for applying soil amendments (as opposed to a soil drench), we can break up compacted ground and introduce better flow of nutrients, air, and water into the root zone.
In addition to Almstead's organic soil care services our arborists are always glad to advise you on irrigation practices, and we also provide watering services for plants out of reach of irrigation. To formulate a heat stress survival plan for your trees (and shrubs, and lawn), please schedule a complimentary consultation with your Almstead arborist.