How to care for your trees during summer droughts in the El Dorado Hills area

How to care for your trees during summer droughts in the El Dorado Hills area

El Dorado County, Sacramento County, and the surrounding areas are vulnerable to frequent droughts. Here are some tree care tips for helping your trees survive and thrive during a drought.

#1. Select native, drought-tolerant trees.

They are adapted to droughts common to El Dorado Hills. They will withstand the dryness better and bounce back faster than trees that require frequent, even waterings.

Drought-tolerant trees are better for the ecosystem and your water bill as well. Some drought-tolerant trees include: 

  • Desert Willow
  • Red Push Pistache
  • Colorado Mesquite
  • Texas Red Oak
  • Escarpment Live Oak
  • Chinquapin Oak Trees
  • And other great choices.

#2. Water outside the canopy line.

The roots of a tree can extend 1.5 to 4 times wider than the canopy. If you water the tree only at its base, the outer roots go thirsty, which reduces the overall water absorbed by the tree.

#3. Use mulch to lock in moisture.

Compact dirt or clay soil does not allow moisture to penetrate down to the root system of the tree. Rather, it evaporates or runs off, often eroding the base of the tree rather than nourishing it. Mulching the base of the tree and the area around it prevents runoff and evaporation, ensuring that the tree gets all the water you are giving it.

#4. Trim and thin your trees regularly.

If dying or diseased branches are removed, they are not hogging water that could be used by healthy tree branches. Healthy trees are more able to withstand drought than weak, sickly ones. Tree thinning is a touchy and sometimes dangerous business, so it is usually best to call a professional tree care service to make sure you do not damage your drought-stressed tree by over-thinning.

#5. Pay attention to signs of drought stress.

Wilting, yellow, or curling leaves are indicators of damage by drought. Brown edges or spaces between leaf veins are also a bad sign.

#6. Check the moisture in the soil.

If the water cannot penetrate the soil, the roots of your tree cannot absorb it. You can test this with a soil bore or you can dig a small cut with a shovel down to one foot. Most tree roots are in the top 12 inches of soil.

#7. Water slowly and regularly.

Just because the water is pooling at the surface doesn’t mean your tree has enough! Use a drip or soaker irrigation system if possible. If not, use a sprinkler system at the base of the tree (preferably in the morning to minimize evaporation). A rule of thumb is two inches of water every four to six days, reducing the frequency as the temperatures cool.

One dry year is unlikely to kill a mature tree, but drought stress can weaken a tree and make it vulnerable to secondary problems like diseases and parasites. Left untreated, these issues may result in tree removal.

Schedule A FREE Consultation To Assess Your Trees’ Health!

If you notice signs of drought stress in your trees, call Tree Removal Arborist.

Our certified team of experts can come to your property and assess the health of your trees. They will educate you on treatment options and tree care tips to ensure that your beautiful trees are a part of your El Dorado Hills home for years to come.