Lawns can recover from dry summer in Minnesota, but trees may not

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It’s been a hot, dry start to the summer here in Minnesota, and it’s no secret our lawns are feeling the heat. But arborists in the state are more concerned about the impact a prolonged drought could have on trees in the state.

Right now, trees may look green and leafy, but just because they’re not showing the sign of struggle yet doesn’t mean they’re not hurting.

"Sometimes with severe drought, we don’t see the impact to the trees until the next spring," said Greg Krogstad, an arborist with Rainbow Treecare.

Grass can turn brown and rebound, but once trees are damaged by drought, it can be hard to nurse them back to health. That’s why Krogstad said it’s important to shift your focus from your lawn and flowers to your trees.

"We always strongly encourage people to water their trees when we’re in a drought like this. Understand that a lot of communities do have bans on watering, but a lot of communities also have provisions so that you can water trees," he said.

Krogstad recommends putting your hose near the trunk of the tree and setting it to a trickle for an hour so. If the water pressure is too high, he said it spills over and doesn’t get to the roots of the tree. He also said people can buy reservoirs that wrap around the tree trunk that slowly release water over time.

"Trees that are 40, 50, 100 years old, you cannot replace that. You want to keep the tree healthy," he said.