April 14 , 2005

This year’s rainfall has been tremendous, however, drought is still a major issue here on the Central Coast. We are now headed into the dry season and the trees in our area need attention in order to remain healthy and pest free. Watering is a key issue in helping trees to remain healthy and pest free.

Trees are constantly losing water. Usually, natural rainfall can supply enough water to keep a tree healthy. Healthy trees can also survive moderate periods of dryness. Long periods of dryness or severe hot and cold conditions can cause trees serious stress and can lead to the decline of trees as well as cause pest issues. Wind is also a major issue; wind helps to dry out the land and causes evaporation in the soil.

Clay is the primary soil in this area. It will hold water much longer than most soils. Be mindful of this fact. Check the moisture content in the soil surrounding your trees before you water. Just because the rain has stopped does not mean it is time to water. Too much water will rot the roots and cause trees to decline. We have already removed several trees that have died from the excess winter rains.

The best way to water your trees is by making sure that the trees get deep, thorough watering (at least 6 to 8 inches). Try to avoid frequent light watering because this will promote shallow root systems. Using a soaker hose or drip system set at a slow rate can help ensure that your trees are getting the water they need. These systems can be placed in an appropriate position and can be turned off and on. When using a garden hose, move the hose frequently to ensure that all of the roots are getting enough water. Keep all watering implements away from the base of the trunk to avoid pest problems. Allow the ground around your tree to dry out before the next watering session.

Placing mulch around the base of your trees will help prevent the evaporation of moisture in the soil and maintain soil temperatures to promote growth and increase the trees vigor. Use organic mulches such as wood chips and shredded bark. The ground surrounding the trunk should have mulch about 3 to 4 inches deep. Avoid piling mulch next to the trunks of your trees, leave about 2 to 3 feet of bare soil around the base of the trunk.

Trees are a beautiful addition to our landscape; lets help maintain their beauty and health by using proper watering techniques.

For more information please contact your local tree care provider at 805-688-5580.


Santa Ynez Valley Tree Care
P.O. Box 1147, Santa Ynez, California 93460

(805) 688-5580

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