Drought and Homeowner Tree Care

Drought and Homeowner Tree Care

Drought is any long-term period without rain, where water resources run scarce. During periods of serious drought, gardeners and lawn care professionals are usually advised to cut back on water usage. However, drought conditions do not mean that tree care has to come to a stop. In fact, it should be the exact opposite.

During periods of drought, it is important for a homeowner to step in and take care of newly planted trees as well as older trees. After all, you can save and maintain your trees even in the worst possible conditions if you take the right amount of care.

Drought and Homeowner Tree Care

Don’t let your trees die as a result of the inability to frequently water your trees. Here’s how to take proper care of your trees without wasting resources. We also discuss how drought can impact the health of your trees.

First, Check the Soil

The first step is to assess the soil around the tree trunk. Soil that is dry enough to compact together will become damaging to the tree and could choke out the roots in drought conditions. Therefore, soil that is compact or contains any obstructions should be loosened as to not affect the roots.

During a drought, it is also important to assess the soil for nutrient balance. Drought conditions are the worst time for trees to be dealing with an additional stress factor. You will want to make sure that your soil is more than just adequate, as soil can help retain moisture when water is scarce.

Spot Drought Stress

Drought stress is a physical state where the tree or plant begins to show signs of suffering due to the lack of water and nutrients in the soil.

Trees experiencing drought stress are likely to brown in places where they shouldn’t. However, that is just one of the potential signs of a suffering tree. Other signs of tree stress include branches dropping off, or bark shedding with longer-term exposure to heat without water. Tree care experts recommend immediate intervention at the first sign of drought stress.

Avoid Trapping Trees

Trees don’t like to have their roots or bottoms trapped under compacted and dry soil, but coverings can affect tree health during a drought. Avoid trapping your trees under any obstacles such as rocks, granite, or artificial turf that will limit the amount of water that is able to reach the tree’s roots.

Tree covers create too much heat and don’t allow water to pass through. Essential water will literally evaporate before it gets to the deepest part of the roots where the water is needed most.


Applying mulch is one of the best things you can do to keep your trees healthy when water is in short supply. Applying mulch around the base of the tree can restore life to dead soil amidst a drought. Mulching can also help to retain soil moisture around the base of the tree – and can oftentimes make all the difference in preserving your beloved trees.

Additional Reading: 10 Drought-Tolerant Trees That Will Throw Shade

Tree Services of Omaha

Tree Services of Omaha, Nebraska is a full-service tree care provider that offers a wide range of arborist services including but not limited to: Tree Removal Services, Tree Trimming, Tree Pruning, Tree and shrubs Shaping, Stump Removal, Stump Grinding, Arborist Consultations, Systemic Tree Injections.

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