U of M Tree Expert: Water Until the Ground is Frozen
Monday morning’s rain probably helped your yard, flowers, or garden -- but it did little or nothing to help your trees.
Experts at the University of Minnesota Extension say we could be in for a significant tree kill next spring, unless you start taking action.
The trees are already changing colors, and losing their leaves.
That's the tree's way of protecting itself, and keeping in more moisture.
Will these trees come back in the spring? Maybe -- that's if you are willing to water.
Ask Eileen Conzet what makes her Saint Paul home so special, and she's quick to tell you it's all about the trees, “These trees are really what sets these neighborhoods apart. Kids play in them, they play around them, it is part of the history of the neighborhood and the beauty of the neighborhood."
Conzet lost a majestic 75-year-old sugar maple two years ago -- and the elm in front of her home is one of the last on the street, “I know I should be watering more, and I know we need to pay really good attention to these trees."
"Water is such a simple thing to do," remarked Gary Johnson U of M Extension forestry specialist.
Johnson says water now, water often, and water right up until the ground is frozen.
Last fall's drought already stressed the trees, and their oh-so-important root system.
An unusually hot and windy summer has soil moisture levels down considerably, so if you don't water and those trees go into winter stressed from two seasons of bad weather; those trees may never come back.
Johnson warned, “There is going to be a lot of widespread damage.”
We asked if it is too late, or if some of the damage can be reversed, “Absolutely it can be reversed,” Johnson told us.
How often should you water?
He advises once a week for big trees, more often for smaller trees that have been recently planted.
The Extension also suggests laying down mulch, which can stop the water from evaporating by as much as 30 percent.