City Forester asks residents to help thirsty trees
By Susan Endres | Tue, 07/17/2012 - 5:51pm
The Madison Parks Division is asking residents to help water any newly planted street trees near their home.
Although the request focuses on trees planted within the last 5 years, “even some of the mature trees could probably use a drink as well,” said City Forester Marla Eddy.
Young trees are especially at risk in the hot, dry weather. Residents can identify them by their size: if the trunk’s diameter is 7 inches or less, it needs water.
Eddy recommends homeowners give each sapling 10 gallons of water per week, which would cost about 5 cents.
To minimize loss from evaporation, they should water in the early morning or early evening, according to the Dane County Tree Board. Watering slowly and on each side of the tree – with a hose set to a low trickle, for example – will allow the roots to absorb the water better. Residents should check the soil, making sure it’s moist rather than saturated.
Homeowners could also consider mulching their street trees, to help the soil retain moisture better.
The Forestry Section of the Parks Division asks those helping out to loosely tie a ribbon or string to a lower branch of the watered tree so that it is visible from the street.
The request extends through this summer and into fall, Eddy said. She noted that stopping watering efforts early could contribute to the tree’s decline.
“Our county is under severe drought conditions and I don’t see any promise of rain,” she said.
For more information on tree care or mulching, check-in with the city’s Forestry Division.
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