When drought conditions exist for months and even years, it can have a severe impact on all types of trees and even exacerbate fire hazard conditions. Long-term drought reduces the tree’s ability to produce food, restricts its ability to absorb and efficiently process nutrients, and limits the tree’s growth. This means it is hard for the tree to resist pests and disease. While new plantings and the very old trees will be the most affected by a persistent drought, even the healthiest trees are affected as the dry conditions continue.
Urban Trees in Drought Conditions
The urban environment restricts tree growth and survival. Drought conditions, poor soil quality or soil compaction, pollutants and conflicts with human activity can cause damage and even premature tree death which reduces the net benefit of urban trees. Understanding the dynamics of the tree’s environment and developing a strategy to help the tree survive under stressful conditions is just one of the skills taught to ISA-certified arborists.
Visible drought symptoms include:
- Loss of leaf and needle rigidity
- Premature leaf or needle (even branch) drop
- Cracking bark, twigs and branches dying
- Slow growth and general canopy thinning
- Excessive squirrel damage (especially on Oaks)
When trees die, many people assume it is because of recent environmental stresses, but in fact, the tree may be in jeopardy as a result of stresses that occurred years or even decades before. At Mark Crane’s Tree and Arborist Services, we understand the local conditions, weather, and environment and we can help your trees be healthy and thrive, despite the drought conditions.
Fire Safety And Trees
While no tree is fireproof, the condition of your trees and their ability to store water in their leaves and branches can be a mitigating factor of your fire risk. Regular pruning reduces the fire hazard by removing dead wood and bark to prevent ground fires from spreading. Efficient watering schedules ensure that the tree is well hydrated and more resistant to going up in flames.
The certified arborists at Mark Crane’s Tree and Arborist Services have access to technical rigging and specialized tools that ensure they can get a full view of your tree’s health from above, all sides, and below.
Every landscape and property is different, but our team can give you a drought action plan that includes strategies for watering, mulching, trimming, and fertilizing that will help you keep your trees healthy and as safe as possible from fire hazards in Montecito, Santa Barbara, and Hope Ranch. Call (805) 685-2320 for a free estimate.