Helping Your Trees and Plants Survive the Heat - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Helping Your Trees and Plants Survive the Heat

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It's been a hot and dry couple of weeks and our heat only continues. Even though we're taking precautions for ourselves and pets, you also need to take the right steps to keep your plants and trees alive.

The City of Fargo Forestry Department offers the following advice:

The current dry conditions may be starting to cause significant stress on your trees.  When trees begin experiencing drought stress, they can become vulnerable to pest attacks and declining health.  We encourage and remind property owners to keep their trees healthy and vigorous by supplemental watering during dry conditions. 

Newly planted or smaller trees typically do not have an extensive and well established root system and will need extra watering every 7-10 days.  The majority of healthy, established and mature trees will be able to handle drier conditions for one season.  However, they may also need your help now.  Supplemental watering will help these trees withstand pest attacks and remain healthy.  A long and slow soaking at the outer edge of the drip line (the area shadowed by the trees branches) every 7-10 days is the most effective.

In addition to watering, wood chip mulch should be used.  Mulch provides many benefits such as reducing turfgrass competition and weed growth, improving moisture conservation, and adding critical nutrients into the soil as it breaks down.  Spreading mulch three to four inches deep as far out as the lower branch tips is best.  Go further out if you don't mind the mulch!  Be sure to keep mulch three to six inches away from the base of the tree.

Overall, supplemental watering, especially when summer conditions are hot and dry, and the use of wood chip mulch, will go a long way to helping your trees better withstand dry conditions, common pests, and remain healthy.

For more information, please visit our website www.cityoffargo.com/forestry or call the Forestry Department at 701-241-1465.

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