Drip Tips: Protect Your Trees In Times of Drought

Drip Tips: Protect Your Trees In Times of Drought

Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Some forecasters are predicting lower than usual rainfall for Nebraska in 2021. In case that happens, here’s how to protect your trees in a water scarce year:
  1. Trees planted in the last 10 years may need supplemental watering to survive during a drought. Even well-established trees that are 20+ years old may show stress if there are sustained high temperatures and low moisture.
  2. Concentrate watering under the tree’s canopy for a long enough duration that water is getting beyond the turf-rooting zone to a depth of 8-12” or more.
  3. Don’t add fertilizer! Adding fertilizer could cause a rush of growth and further stress your plants with higher water demands.
  4. Use mulch or biodegradable fabric barrier (pictured below) around trees to suppress weeds and lock in moisture. Don’t use rocks or pea gravel around trees, as this will increase the temperature at the base of the tree and cause less moisture to be absorbed through the soil.
  5. Installing new trees? Be sure to plant drought resistant varieties.