Master Gardener’s Corner: 08/30/2017

Saving trees: The key to a beautiful landscape

To keep trees healthy and prevent infestation by harmful pests, give them the water they need.

Water Trees less frequently than lawn and shrubs. Young trees need 5 gallons of water 2-4 times a week for their first summer. As the tree grows, water less frequently. Mature trees need water 1-2 times a month around the drip line. Apply water slowly near the edge of the tree canopy, not at the base of the trunk. This can be done with a soaker hose. Add mulch, 4 to 6 inches of wood chip or bark mulch around your tree keeps the soil moist, reducing how much water the tree needs.

How can I tell if my tree is not getting enough water?

Look for wilting or dropping leaves; this may mean the tree is not getting enough water. However, it could also mean the tree is getting too much water. Check soil moisture with a water meter or by digging 8-12 inches deep with a large screwdriver or spade. Since over-watering also can kill trees, allow the soil to dry out before watering again.

Trees are a priceless resource, bringing beauty and other benefits to our lives and the environment. Yet, invasive insects and recent drought threaten trees in our neighborhoods and forests. Share these tips with your neighbors.

We save trees because they improve air and water quality; provide oxygen and food for people, birds, and other animals; absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), which combats climate change, slows stormwater runoff, reduces soil erosion, and helps recharge groundwater; and cool our homes, yards, parks, and cities.

Information from saveourwater.com
— For more information visit http://cecolusa.ucanr.edu/