Taking Care of Your Trees During Drought

“Evergreen trees like Arborvitae, Cryptomeria, Hemlock, Leyland Cypress, Pines, and Magnolias are dying all over Charlotte, North Carolina, Greenville, South Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina. After some investigation, we’ve discovered the culprit: drought stress.

Did you know that trees are mostly made up of water? A tall, healthy tree can take up thousands of gallons of water from the soil over the course of one season. So what happens to your trees during a drought year?

The Short and Long-term Effects of Drought

Drought will have both short-term and long-term effects on your trees. Last summer you may have noticed some of the plants on your property looking wilted or saw some color change on the leaves. Long-term, you might see an increase in insect and disease activity, decreased leaf growth, and root deterioration. Some of these effects won’t show up for another three or more years.

We are already starting to see blooming as the weather warms up. In fact, you might be able to see some effects from last summer’s drought when the trees in your yard begin to leaf. During a drought, trees will drop dried and damaged leaves and push out new growth when conditions improve; Evergreens do not have this ability. Once limbs turn brown from the stress and the lack of moisture & nutrients, they will die.

How To Help Your Trees Recover From Drought Stress

  • Call your arborist to get set up on a program for adding beneficial nutrients to your soil and request an inspection to detect insects and diseases that are already on your property.
  • Refresh your mulch to hold in moisture and regulate soil temperature.
  • Adjust your irrigation system to get water to your established trees.

We don’t know what this summer will bring, but healthy trees and shrubs are a good start to protecting your investment. Contact us for more information on drought stress and other tree care services.