Caring For Shrubs in Extreme Heat: Part 1 – July 2016

Are you worried about the heat taking its toll on your trees, lawn, and shrubs? Let us help you take all the necessary steps to ensure a healthy yard.

Like everything else, a strong and healthy bush or tree will get through extreme heat and drought best. Make sure they have been regularly watered deeply and fertilized in the spring. Mulch should be applied at least three inches thick and extend at least three to five inches beyond the drip line. The mulch should not come in contact with the trunk. Use a coarse mulch that will allow water to pass through easily but shades the soil. Don’t prune just before summer heat sets in as new growth is most susceptible to the effects of drought and heat.

Sun loving shrubs and trees generally establish deep root systems and will get through drought fairly well if they have been receiving enough water. New growth and young leaves will be the first to show signs of stress. Watch for wilting, yellowing, or curling or burning of leaf edges. Evergreen needles may change color or brown at the tips. Young new growth on evergreens may wilt. Unfortunately, by the time symptoms appear on shrubs and trees, the plant is already severely stressed. And sometimes the effect of drought and heat don’t even surface for a year or two.

Sometimes you may find single branches that seem to be completely dead, with every leaf turned brown. Both extreme heat and drought can put enormous stress on plants that make them susceptible to disease and insects. If whatever the problem is seems confined to individual branches, remove those branches entirely. Even if the cause is simply heat stress, this “thinning” of the crown will reduce the need for water, allow more moisture to penetrate the crown to the roots, and balance the crown to the root structure. Thinning the crown of trees every several years and shrubs every few years is good preventive maintenance in protecting the plants from drought and extreme heat.

The Tri-Cities can have some pretty high temperatures during the summer. Let Top Tree LLC show you how to keep your trees healthy during the hot summer months.

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