A long hot summer is wonderful for people, but it can have a negative effect on the healthy growth and development of young and newly planted trees, making proper watering and tree pruning essential. Older trees have deep roots that can reach the water far below the surface and find it easier to survive than young trees with a shallower and less developed root system.
Spot the signs of drought stress in young trees?
Pay attention to the young trees in your garden and keep an eye out for signs of drought stress. The sooner you tackle the problem, the healthier your young trees will be and the better they will grow.
Prevent stress by watering young trees correctly
Young trees need care if you want them to thrive and grow into majestic, shady groves for picnic tables and provide ample platforms for tree houses. Trees can’t just be planted and ignored, they need to be loved and nurtured. With the correct tree pruning, mulching, composting and watering you will be able to benefit from your trees for many years.
Give your trees a good soak
Watering trees is all about balance. The worst months for trees are June and July when the days are the long and hot, that is when they need the most water and a bit of extra TLC. With young trees, it is essential to give them a good soaking at least once a week to wet the root zone to a depth of 25 – 30 cm. Water the tree slowly and steadily to allow the water to seep deep into the soil.
You want your young trees to develop a strong, deep root system that anchors them firmly and enables them to access deeper water reserves from the soil. Try to avoid frequent light watering as this encourages the formation of a shallow root system and makes the trees less drought resistant. Just don’t let the soil dry out completely because then it becomes harder for the water to soak deeply into the soil. As soon as the tree shows signs of stress, increase the frequency of watering.
Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing for young trees. Overwatering your trees can be as damaging as underwatering, so if your trees are not wilting and show no signs of drought stress, then they are getting enough water. Remember that even when the top of the soil dries out, the ground below the surface can still contain moisture.
Water at the right time of day
Timing is important when it comes to watering any trees. In the middle of summer, you do not want to water your trees in the middle of the day, rather do it in the early morning to reduce evaporation. Or if you can’t water early in the morning, then water in the early evening. Ensure that there is mulch around the base of your trees, this will keep the soil moist for longer, prevent evaporation and stop the soil surface from forming a hardpan.
Tree pruning can help young trees in drought conditions
During a prolonged drought or unusually hot, dry weather, tree pruning can reduce healthy trees need for water. But keep in mind that trees need their canopies to prevent sunburn and pruning them too severely can cause stress. If you want to prune your trees during a drought, it is best to call in a professional tree pruning service, like Martin’s Tree Service, to do the job properly and ensure that your young trees remain healthy.