Why you should save your trees
As you cut back on water use during this historic drought, you may not realize the impact this will have on your landscape trees.
Trees in irrigated landscapes become dependent on regular watering. When watering is reduced – and especially when it’s stopped completely – trees will die.
Tree loss is a very costly problem: not only in expensive tree removal, but also in the loss of all the benefits trees provide. Your trees provide an immense range of health, energy, environmental and economic benefits:
- Trees improve air and water quality
- Trees provide shade to the landscape and reduce water needs
- Trees help keep your home cooler
- Trees slow stormwater runoff and help recharge groundwater
- Trees reduce soil erosion
- Trees add value – sometimes thousands of dollars’ worth – to your home and neighborhood
How to save your trees
Lawn trees can and must be saved during the drought. What you can do:
- Deeply and slowly water mature trees 1 – 2 times per month with a simple soaker hose or drip system toward the edge of the tree canopy – NOT at the base of the tree. Use a Hose Faucet Timer (found at hardware stores) to prevent overwatering.
- Young trees need 5 gallons of water 2 – 4 times per week. Create a small watering basin with a berm of dirt.
- Shower with a bucket and use that water for your trees as long as it is free of non-biodegradable soaps or shampoos.
- Do not over-prune trees during drought. Too much pruning and drought both stress your trees.
- Mulch, Mulch, MULCH! 4 – 6 inches of mulch helps retain moisture, reducing water needs and protecting your trees.