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Help your trees beat the summer heat 

Published on June 28, 2024

In summer heat stress situations, trees are losing water faster than they are absorbing it. You may notice drooping branches, browning leaf tips, small or unusually shaped leaves, or even dieback of branches – particularly high in the center of the tree crown.Beautiful view of irrigation hose on green grass lawn watering apple tree.

Certified Huntsville arborist Lee McBride offers these tips to give your tree a break and stay healthy during the July and August hot summer months.

  1. Don’t consider the broiling summer temperatures as an invitation to constantly water lawns and trees. In fact, watering may not be necessary with a decent amount of rain each week.
  2. Most established landscapes and lawns need 1 to 1 ½ inches of rain or irrigation every seven to 10 days from May through October. Too much irrigation can lead to problems such as root disease or leaf diseases that can spread quickly with frequent watering.
  3. Make sure using a sprinkler is effective. Place rain gauges at varying distances from the sprinkler so that equal amounts of water are being applied to the area and that enough water – but not too much – is being distributed. Water deeply with as much water as the soil can hold in one session but then allow several days for the soil to drain.
  4. Watering should be done in the early morning to allow the grass to dry relatively quickly.
  5. The best way to water established trees is with a soaker hose or drip line, preferably the black round “leaky pipe” type. If possible, place the hose near the edge of the outer branches or over the drip line of the trees and shrubs. The hoses average about one gallon per hour per foot of hose. Try watering for eight hours or overnight. Then wait 7 to 10 days before watering again.

The bottom line is to pay attention to the correct amount of water your tree needs to thrive.