There has been no recorded rain in London, Ontario since 6.5 mm of it fell on June 16, 2016. That brought total rainfall amounts up to 61.7 mm of rain for the month of June; far below the average of 87 mm. And while there is a 30% chance of rain this afternoon, it isn’t looking like we will really see any rain until closer to July 1st—and they are forecasting a mere 1-3 mm at that.
Hence why the City of London announced the year’s first tree watering alert on June 24th.
Tree Watering Alert
When insufficient rain falls plants go into a state of stress. Lawns turn brown and go dormant. Unlike grass though, which bounces back once rain comes, the issue for trees is more severe.
- trees do not go dormant
- trees need a minimum of 2.5 cm of rain, or 22 litres of water, per week to thrive
- periods of drought leads to tree stress
- tree stress can carry into following years
- young trees have higher risk of stress
- stressed trees are more susceptible to insect infestation, disease, and hampered growth
Signs of a Tree Under Stress
- leaves wilt, turn yellow and/or brown
- leaf drop may occur
- soil under tree is dry
- deciduous branches become limp and may lose needles
Ways to Water a Tree
- tree watering bags
- trickle hose
- drip bucket
- irrigation system
Learn to recognize the signs of tree stress and do your part to prevent it. Think about installing a rain gauge to measure the amount of rain that falls and supplement your tree’s watering schedule as necessary. A well-watered tree is a healthier tree. And the cost it takes to water trees each week is far less than what it could cost to deal with a stressed tree down the road. So do yourself a favour and get watering while Mother Nature is on holidays. Your trees will thank you for it.