As we barrel headlong into the hottest part of summer, many homeowners assume that their lawn irrigation systems will provide enough water for their trees. We urge you not to make this assumption, and to be on the lookout for signs of drought stress even if you have sprinklers installed in your yard. That’s because…
Your tree’s root zone might not be covered. Irrigation systems are primarily designed for the lawn and decorative garden installations. Depending upon the location of your tree(s), a discharge head might not adequately cover the root zone.
Sometimes discharge heads malfunction. If you’re simply assuming that your irrigation system is in good working order, you might soon notice dry or dead spots on the lawn. And of course, this will affect trees in those areas as well. This happens due to discharge heads becoming clogged or otherwise malfunctioning, so make sure to inspect them regularly.
Irrigation might not be deep enough for trees. Again, because irrigation systems are designed for grass management, the water output might not be sufficient for trees. Often these systems are set to soak only the top inch of soil, which is not deep enough for tree roots. If your timer is set for less than twenty minutes, the saturation is unlikely to be sufficient.
The signs of drought stress in trees are:
- Yellowing leaves
- Leaf scorch
- Cracks in the bark
Keep in mind that these issues can also be symptoms of over watering! That certainly makes tree care a bit more complicated. If the tree sits in a more saturated part of the yard, over watering is more likely to be the case than under watering. But in order to be sure, you should consult a professional tree care expert.
Give us a call if you have any concerns about your trees, and we can help you assess the situation. Otherwise, just remember to gauge your irrigation efforts carefully this summer, particularly with regard to younger and less established trees.