The Heat is On! How to reduce heat stress in your urban trees.
April 18, 2017
Urban trees tolerate numerous stressful conditions like reflected heat, limited space, construction damage and pollution. These tough circumstances can weaken trees and open the door to multiple complications. As the temperatures start to rise, we're looking out for various problems that occur when conditions are favorable. Sucking insects such as aphids and scale cluster around branch crotches and new growth. Spider mites and lace bugs create tiny hole punches and caterpillars chew and destroy leaves. Symptoms of fungal diseases like fungal conks on tree trunks and Oak Wilt typically show up with the hot weather, especially when high humidity is present.
Your best defense...
Keeping your landscape healthy is by far the best way for to ward off insect and fungal attacks. Plants that receive proper care on a consistent basis are much more likely to withstand damage. When trees go into drought stress, they are more vulnerable to attacks by insects and disease. Its feast or famine, it seems. Home and business owners are either not watering enough, causing plants to dry out. Or, they are watering too much with shallow, frequent watering that can exacerbate fungal problems which thrive in overly wet conditions. When the grass blades and soil surface don't get a chance to breathe, fungal spores grow.
Our SEASONS fertilization program promotes tree health and longevity naturally that not only encourages vigorous plant growth but also arms your trees with biological defenses to ward off insects and instill disease resistance.
Why how you water is so important
We cannot stress enough the importance of deep watering to strengthen the root systems of your trees. When we get a good rain, your landscape typically won't need water again for 5-7 days, even in the heat of summer. One-inch of water per week is sufficient for most established trees. Newly planted trees may need additional waterings during the hottest part of summer.
When an established tree is watered too often, but only shallowly, roots develop right on the surface of the soil where limited water is delivered. Because the soil surface is the first to dry out, the tree is highly dependent on these regular shallow waterings. So when a sprinkler head breaks or shifts over to spray the driveway, your trees quickly begin to suffer. A shallow root system also makes your trees extremely susceptible to breakage during high winds that occur during storms. Watering deeply for longer periods of time, with less frequency, can help your tree develop a stronger root system. Soaker hoses are a great way to water your trees.
Early detection is key to growing healthy trees
Catching these heat-related problems early makes it more likely that they can be alleviated easily with natural methods. Following a regular maintenance plan for your trees that includes yearly inspections from a certified arborist, smart watering habits, seasonal fertilization and skilled pruning will give you peace of mind that your trees, a big part of your property’s value, are growing healthy and strong to withstand the trials and tribulations of urban living.