April 7, 2021 The effect of drought on trees can be detrimental. This is essential for all homeowners to know, so they can better support the health and well-being of their valued landscapes. Most homeowners would rank the plant and trees in their yards as some of their home’s most important aesthetic features. Not only do they make it look great, but they also increase the value of the home. However, even someone with the greenest of thumbs can have it all go down the drain when drought season comes around. The worst part? Trees and plant life can take up to more than two years to manifest the negative impacts of drought. Here are some statistics on drought trends, how it affects your plant life, and what you can do to help your plant life out during these rough times. Drought Facts Some places in the United States get more rain and water than others. As a result, the definition of drought may be different depending on who you ask. However, according to the drought monitor over at drought.gov, the Midwest and Southwest regions have experienced severe droughts in 2020. If you live in the four corner states (Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico) and have noticed that it rained less this season, it’s not just you! It wasn’t just this past season either. These places have had steady droughts from the beginning of January 2020 to the present day. During this time, it’s rained less and been consistently warmer overall. Not all droughts are long-term, but even a short drought can have devastating effects on your plant life if you don’t tend to them during these difficult periods. Effect on Trees and Plant life Most plants are 80 to 95 percent water, so you can imagine the effect a lack of water has on them. Trees might not have the ratio of material composition, but they need water just as much. If your area is experiencing drought, watch out for short-term effects on your trees and plant life. The leaves on trees might begin to wilt, crinkle, and curl. They might also show signs of scorching, and trees might begin to drop leaves during times of the year they shouldn’t be. If these signs are ignored, then your trees will begin to suffer from the long-term effects of drought. These include a shortened tree and plant lifespan, stunted growth, dieback in the upper branches of a tree, dry branches, dry wood and bark, and death. Trees suffering from drought also experience pest problems since many bugs and beetles like to burrow and feed off the dry wood on branches and bark. If you notice that your trees and plant life begin to show the short-term effects of a drought, take precautions immediately. This will lessen (and maybe even avoid) the long-term effects of drought. If necessary, contact an arborist to get tips and help on how to care for your plants. How to Prepare and Protect Your Plant Life Droughts come and go. Some last longer than others, but they are a regular part of nature. Because of this, you should always have one eye on the skies and the other on your trees. Preparation for droughts is also a lot simpler than you might think. To begin with, make sure the base of your trees and gardens are clear of any unwanted plant life. This could include weeds and other seeds that might have taken root. These unwanted plants will compete with the plant life you do want for the limited water available during droughts. Keeping the area clear allows your trees and plants to maximize their water efficiency. Also, limit pruning and skip heavy fertilizer during drought periods. Pruning branches means trees will spend energy on trying to heal those wounds. Plants should spend that energy on staying alive. Fertilizer may also soak up water intended for the tree. Out of Your Hands and Into Ours Getting the most out of the land you love requires time, patience, and care. While that is something that many would love to give their yards and plant life, some just don’t have the time. If you find yourself with too much on your hands, call in the professionals! We have dealt with arbor situations of all kinds and treat each customer’s trees and plants with the best care.