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Drought Care for Trees

Don’t forget the trees, even old established ones, when extended dry periods and droughts move in. 

In fact, these should be a high priority since it takes many years to replace an established tree.

Always moisten the top 12 inches of soil under the dripline (the area directly located under the outer circumference of the tree branches) when watering deciduous trees and the same depth, but three to five feet beyond the dripline for evergreens.  

Apply 10 gallons of water for every inch diameter of trunk.  So a 4-inch diameter tree should receive about 40 gallons of water each week.

You can apply the water with a soaker hose, encircling the tree and covering the area under the dripline. Or make your own drip irrigation system with 5-gallon buckets.  Drill several holes in the bottom of the buckets, set around the tree and fill with water. 

And don’t forget to mulch.  It conserves moisture, suppresses weeds and keeps weedwhips and lawn mowers away from the tree trunks.

A bit more information:  Base your watering schedule on the soil and weather.  Heavy clay soils and cool weather means less frequent watering.  Fast draining soils and higher temperatures mean more frequent watering.  Let your plants not your calendar be your guide.

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June 6, 2020
Ebert's Greenhouse Village
Ixonia, WI

June 9, 2020
Milwaukee Public Library
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