How to Help Your Trees Survive the Drought

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Tree Davis has put out an infographic about how to help your trees survive the drought.

They write, “Trees and water are both precious resources. Trees make our houses feel like home – they also improve property values, clean our water and air, and even make our streets safer and quieter. When we water wisely and maintain our trees carefully, we enjoy a wide range of benefits at a low cost and with little effort.”

This is not just a drought – the last three years have been the driest three-year stretch in history, with 2014 marking the third driest year in history.

Combined perhaps with fears of water rate hikes, people in Davis have allowed their lawns to die and the result has been that at least 65 city street trees have died for lack of water and that does not account for how many trees on private property have died.

According to the infographic, trees need about five gallons once or twice a week, depending on whether they are young or mature. During a drought, they recommend that you water directly with a hose or a five-gallon bucket.

The city also suggests getting rid of turf or shrubs around the trunk of the trees and replace that with mulch.

For better conservation efforts, “Place buckets in the shower to collect warm up water.” When I was in high school in San Luis Obispo, we had a seven-year drought and buckets for warm up water were a regular feature. You can easily collect five gallons that way and keep your tries alive.

The infographic also suggests, “Recycle water from the dehumidifier, collect air conditioning condensation, and ‘save a flush’ to conserve.”

Moreover, outside, you should convert irrigation to drip and low-flow or micro-spray – that will ensure that more water gets to your vegetation and less runs off. It is important that “water should soak into the ground rather than running off into the drain.”

The right time is to water early in the morning or after the sun has set, “as this is when trees replace the water they’ve lost during the day.” They also say, “Less water is lost to evaporation at these times. Mulching your tree will also keep soils warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.”

 Tree Canopy

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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