Can I Still Treat My Trees During A Drought?

Posted on Nov 3, 2015 8:00:00 AM by Fran Oneto

Can I Still Treat My Trees During A Drought? | The Experienced Gardener

The drought in California has finally reached crisis level, which is kind of remarkable – this is somehow our fourth consecutive year of drought, and yet we’ve barely started to do anything about it. But all around the state, folks are taking steps to curb their water usage. From allowing lawns to “Stay Golden” to refusing to flush after every bathroom trip, we’re all encouraged to do our part.

In times like these, landscaping can seem unimportant or like a luxury. However, there’s no reason you can’t provide great lawn care while still limiting your water usage. For instance, when it comes to treating your trees – why can’t you still do it during the drought?

Treating isn’t just OK – it’s recommended

You definitely need to keep treating your trees during the drought, because this is the perfect time for pests to descend upon it. As explained by professor of entomology at UC Riverside Timothy Paine, water is a critical component in tree defense. For instance, some trees secrete resin to thwart pests, but without sufficient water, they won’t be able to do that. Additionally, the dry weather has led to an increased pest population, and more pests puts every tree at risk. So even if you use nothing else, you should at least consider some pesticide for your trees.

Your trees need all the help they can get

As for their overall health, your trees are likely hurting. According to experts, it can take up to two years for trees to show problems as the result of a drought. And even when they do, these signs are subtle. For instance, if your tree produces smaller leaves than normal, or they’re prematurely turning yellow, that’s a sign of drought stress. Also look for evergreen trees that develop red or yellow needles, and leaves with browning between veins.

So how do we combat these ill effects? Treatment can help. Just because you can’t water the tree as much doesn’t mean you can’t do other things for it. You can still use chemicals or compounds such as Cambistat. This growth regulator can help slow the growth of trees, which actually allows them to become healthier and more robust.

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Topics: Gardens