Lack of moisture is the most common stress encountered in landscapes. When drought conditions persist for months, a plant's health and survival is severely impacted. All types of trees and shrubs are susceptible to these conditions, though very young plantings and trees, as well as older trees and plantings, will be most affected. Sometimes, it can take up to 2 years for large trees to go into decline, especially if they are fighting off insects and diseases.
The first symptoms of drought are usually evident on the leaves or needles. Wilting, defoliation, discoloration and browning of leaf margins or needles are common signs. Drought reduces trees and plants' ability to produce food, restricts ability to absorb nutrients and limits growth. That means it's hard for plants to fully recover from drought, sometimes requiring several years and they become more susceptible to certain past problems like boring insects as well as stem and root disease. These secondary invaders can lead to the ultimate decline and death of the plant.
We can help by monitoring closely for pest problems. Proper irrigation is critical with water applied to the root zone and not directly ton the trunk. Mulch can also help conserve soil moisture and reduce competition for water. Finally, pruning any dead or dying limbs and regular fertilization will help minimize the effects of drought.
**Please note that fertilizer should be applied only after drought has ended and soils are recharged by rainfall. We can provide all of these services!
Call us today at 508-997-8146 for more information on drought damage prevention in the Fairhaven and New Bedford, MA area!