AUSTIN (KXAN) — Despite recent rains in Central Texas, there’s a growing problem that begins in the soil — not enough water for local trees.
“They’re clearly showing stress, the leaves are turning brown, some of the limbs look like they’ve died” said David Madden with The Davey Tree Expert Company in Austin. He has witnessed many trees not getting enough water near the ground and showing signs of stress at the top.
“They’re losing moisture faster than they can replace it. They have to shed some weight. So they dumped a lot of their leaves,” said Madden.
Fewer leaves mean less energy from the sun. A vicious cycle that can cause a tree to die.
While older trees are struggling too, newer trees are having the toughest time since they haven’t fully established their root system and many of them have died or are close to it.
So what can you do to save the trees in your yard? Soak them when water restrictions allow, but not near the trunk, but instead toward the outer half of the shadow of the tree’s crown at high noon.
Your lawn needs the top three inches of soil to be wet in order to survive. Your trees need the soil below three inches deep to be wet in order to grow.
Just like grass, your trees need a fertilizer to bounce back from the drought.
But you’ll need to be patient with the recovery.
“It’s probably too late to say mass recovery this year, but getting them bolstered before we go into the fall and winter and get them prepared for next spring will be the big challenge,” Madden said.