Saint Paul puts out plea for residents to water their trees
Abnormally dry conditions causing trees to go thirsty
ST. PAUL (Aug. 27, 2013)- The City of Saint Paul is putting out a call to residents to water their trees, both private and public, due to the current hot and dry weather conditions.
The continued dry weather pattern is stressful on trees and can lead to a weakened condition making them more susceptible to illness, disease, and premature death. While some types of trees are more tolerant to drought stress than others, current dry conditions call for supplementary watering.
Saint Paul’s Forestry Division and the Saint Paul Tree Advisory Panel have released a series of helpful tips and guidelines to assist residents in monitoring and watering their young trees.
Signs a tree is suffering from moisture stress
• Yellowing of the leaves
• Drooping or wilted leaves
• Premature leaf drop and loss
Watering should be done in the early morning or evening for best results. Long and slow watering sessions allow the water to soak into the ground encouraging deeper root growth. Slow watering is easily accomplished with a slow trickle from a standard hose, soaker hoses, or using watering bags for small trees. Young trees are especially vulnerable to dry conditions as root systems are not fully developed. A good rule of thumb is that trees need approximately 10 gallons of water a week for every 1” of trunk diameter.
• Turn your hose on to a very light trickle and water for 2 hours at a time at each of the four corners of the tree.
• Wrap a soaker hose around the base of the tree, at least a foot away from the trunk, and water for 6 to 8 hours at a low flow rate.
• For small trees, place a watering bag around the tree and fill it up once a week. The city provides watering bags FREE OF CHARGE for public trees planted over the past few seasons. Be sure to remove and store the watering bag in winter.
St. Paul’s boulevard trees add value to your neighborhood and provide numerous benefits. They need your help to stay healthy when the weather is dry. Due to the lack of rainfall, one or two isolated storms will not supply the consistent water that our trees need. Water trees throughout the entire year until it is too cold to use the hose, or when the soil is frozen.
Residents with questions are encouraged to contact Saint Paul’s professional Forestry staff at 651-632-5129or www.stpaul.gov/forestry.