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Trees in a heatwave

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How to Care for Trees During a Heatwave

As scorching summer heatwaves becoming increasingly common, it’s important to prioritise the well-being of our environment, especially our beloved trees. Trees provide us with shade, clean air and a serene atmosphere, but they can also be vulnerable to the effects of extreme heat. Here we look at the best ways to care for trees during a heatwave, ensuring their health and longevity.

Watering trees in a heatwave

During a heatwave, trees often face drought-like conditions, which can result in stress and dehydration. Effective watering is the key to mitigating these effects and promoting resilience.

Here’s what you should be doing:

Deep watering – Give trees a thorough and deep watering, ensuring the moisture reaches the root system. A slow and steady stream of water allows moisture to penetrate the soil and reach the deeper roots where it’s needed the most.

Infrequent but consistent watering – You don’t need to water frequently as established trees hold a large amount of water. Instead, you should water trees in a heatwave deeply and aim to do so every week or two. This encourages roots to grow deeper, making them less susceptible to heat stress.

Mulching – apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree, extending to the drip line but avoiding direct contact with the trunk. Mulching helps retain soil moisture, prevents excessive evaporation, regulates soil temperature and reduces weed growth. All this helps to conserve water and promote tree health.

Irrigation techniques – adjust irrigation systems to water trees during the cooler parts of the day such as early morning or late evening so as to minimise water loss through evaporation. Use drip irrigation or soaker hoses to deliver water directly to the roots.

Trees during a heatwave
Give trees a thorough and deep watering, ensuring the moisture reaches the root system.

Pruning and maintenance of trees during a heatwave

Pruning and regular maintenance are essential for trees, particularly during a heatwave.

Here are some points to consider:

Deadwood removal – be sure to remove dead, damaged or diseased branches promptly. These branches are more susceptible to heat stress and may become hazardous during strong winds or storms.

Pruningprune branches strategically to enhance air circulation within the canopy. Increased airflow reduces heat build-up, helps control pests and diseases and improves overall tree health.

Crown reduction – if necessary, consider reducing the crown size to alleviate stress on trees during a heatwave. Be sure to consult with a professional tree surgeon to determine the approach and avoid excessive pruning that could in fact harm the tree.

Monitoring and observation of trees in a heatwave

Regularly monitor trees during a heatwave to check for signs of stress or damage. Look for the following signs:

Wilting or drooping leaves – leaves that appear limp, wilting or yellowed can signal water stress. Address the issue by adjusting your watering techniques or seeking professional advice.

Leaf scorch – browning or yellowing along the edges of leaves or between veins may indicate leaf scorch which is caused by excessive heat and water loss. Adjusting your watering practices may alleviate the problem.

Pests and diseases – extreme heat will weaken trees, making them more susceptible to pests and diseases. Check over your trees regularly for signs of infestation or infection and consult a professional tree surgeon for help if you discover anything untoward.

Caring for trees during a heatwave

Caring for trees in a heatwave is essential to their survival and long-term health. By following these guidelines for proper watering, pruning and monitoring, we can support our trees in the fight against extreme temperatures and ensure their well-being for generations to come.

T.H. Tree Services offers care and maintenance for all types of trees throughout the year and during heatwaves. We are local authority and Trading Standards approved and fully qualified.

For a no-obligation quotation and helpful advice on all areas of tree management, you are welcome to call our expert team on 01268 642 814.

Excellent job

I can thoroughly recommend TH Trees. Their professionalism and communication has always been paramount. The jobs undertaken carried out to my satisfaction. Above and beyond.

Thank you Jo for your kind review, it's always a pleasure to be of assistance with your trees.

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