The Effects of Drought on Trees: Why It Lasts for Years to Come
As the climate continues to change, years of drought have become a serious problem for many regions, and the effects are starting to show. In fact, more than half of U.S. states have experienced moderate drought in 2021.
What does this mean for you? Flowers and shrubs may make it through with regular watering, but your trees could end up suffering for years to come after a drought!
Read on to learn about the effects of drought and how your trees could be impacted!
Drought and Trees
The most affected trees are seedlings and transplants. Seedlings have shallow root systems and the top layers of soil dry out the most quickly. Transplants are more sensitive due to transplant shock, loss of their root system, and soil issues.
While established trees and plants are less at risk of damage due to drought, they face the effects as well. Drought inflames any pre-existing issues in trees such as improper planting or diseases. Landscape trees that are not native to the area are also less equipped to deal with drought.
The symptoms of drought can be hard to spot and may not show themselves until a few seasons later. Understanding the effects is the first step to maintaining your yard!
Short-Term Effects of Drought on Trees
A plant’s first response to drought is to close its stomata, through which they release water and absorb carbon dioxide. This reduces the rate of photosynthesis.
You’ll notice shriveling and falling leaves in damaged plants. If you notice discoloration or scorching, it’s time to take action.
Trees weakened by drought will also be more sensitive to winter temperatures, pesticides, and diseases.
Drought causes the amount of water in the soil to decrease. This causes fragile root systems to die, making it difficult for the plants to absorb water even when the soil is restored.
If a drought is long-lasting or recurring, the damage to trees will be much more severe.
You may notice that entire branches die, especially at the crown of the tree. A reduction in growth and gradual decline are other signs that your tree has been damaged.
Recovering From the Effects of Drought
The best way to prevent long-lasting damage is to stay on top of tree maintenance.
Start with the soil – make sure that your trees have a healthy root system by incorporating water-retaining matter like mulch. You don’t need to water your trees frequently, but make sure the water goes deep into the soil!
An arborist can provide all the drought-care your trees need, from pruning back damaged branches to full removal of dead trees. They can also give your trees the attention they need to stay healthy during and after a drought.
Keep Your Trees Blooming
The effects of drought can cause long-lasting damage, but you can keep your trees healthy by employing a tree service near you. Tree services can help with tree preservation during a drought as well as tree recovery or removal.
Looking for arborist services in Connecticut? You can request an estimate here to find out about the services available to you! Don’t miss the chance to make your yard as healthy and beautiful as it can be after the past few years of drought!