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Caring for Trees During Drought

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 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 weed whips and lawn mowers away from the tree trunks.

A bit more information: Always let the weather, soil, and the plant you’re growing determine your watering schedule.  High temperatures and fast draining soils dry out quickly and the plants will need more frequent watering.  Cooler temperatures and slow or poorly drained soil stay moist longer.  Established trees with larger root systems and drought-tolerant trees need less frequent watering than moisture lovers and new plantings.  

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