Water restrictions and urban trees
June 24, 2015
Know your city’s water guidelines to keep your trees healthy through summer.
While there is no doubt North Texas needed some serious drought relief, we weren’t expecting to get so much rain in such a short period of time. And while the recent rainfall has been immense, we all know that it will most likely come to a hard stop and we’ll be back to a hot dry Texas summer. That means we’ll have to refocus on water management in our landscapes.
Most of North Texas is still under permanent drought restrictions. And while conserving water is a high priority, healthy trees play a big part. With a bit of forethought and the right information, you can keep trees healthy, follow your city’s water guidelines, reduce water waste and save money in the landscape all at the same time.
The extra rainfall has caused some cities to reduce their Stage 3 water restrictions. You’ll still need to follow any current restrictions in place and do your part to cut down on waste. On average, your established trees, lawn, shrubs and perennials will thrive with 1-inch worth of rainfall (or irrigation) per week. Obviously, if it's been raining you don’t need to supplement with irrigation water. Most cities allow hand watering as needed, but it’s best to limit watering to before 10am and after 6pm to avoid evaporation.
Large trees don’t need watering...right?
Many believe that established or large trees don’t need any supplemental water; they have a tap root that finds moisture far below the surface. However, very few tree species actually grow a tap root. In general, most of a tree’s feeder roots are concentrated in the top 18” of the soil and spread far and wide, rather than deep. That’s why large trees often outcompete your lawn for irrigation water. Even large established trees can suffer and die during periods of drought, as we’ve seen all throughout Texas over the last 10 years.
Water Guidelines Where You Live:
City of Fort Worth
If you live in Fort Worth, you can water your landscape twice a week before 10am and after 6pm. You may water with a soaker hose, drip irrigation or by hand-held hose any time. Be sure your irrigation is working properly. You could get fined for watering a sidewalk or driveway, during precipitation or for broken sprinkler heads. Fort Worth water schedule below.
City of Dallas
Your address dictates what two days of the week you can water. Watering between 10am-6pm is prohibited. Drip irrigation, hand-watering, and watering your foundation, can be done any day of the week.
City of Plano
The City of Plano now allows twice a week watering, but conservation is still encouraged. Odd addresses may water Tuesday and Friday, even addresses Monday and Thursday. Sprinklers and automatic irrigation systems are not allowed between 10am-6pm, nor is watering on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Details on their water guidelines here.
City of Frisco
What day is your normal trash day? That is the day you can water your landscape before 10am and after 6pm. Hand Watering is limited to up to two hours each day. They also recommend residents not turn on automatic sprinkler systems just yet. The City of Frisco works very hard on their conservation efforts. Details on their website.
City of Richardson
Residents can now water with sprinklers and irrigation systems twice per week based on their address. Even-numbered addresses on Tuesdays and Saturdays; odd–numbered addresses on Wednesdays and Sundays. For variances and guidelines, go here.
The City of McKinney offers this watering schedule. It is your normal trash day, then three days later if needed. Watering between 10am and 6pm is not allowed. More on their water guidelines here.
Posted: June 24, 2015