Trees and water: it’s all about dose

It’s summer and there are two things we know:
– Trees need water
– Water (in the form or precipiation) does not always come in predictable amounts and timeframes.

There are many great web resources to help you track rainfall (as a proxy for soil moisture).

NOAA provides some great tool and tracking precipitation at various time scales.

There is a bar chart like this for your area

BUT…you can’t go without water for a week and then drink 5 gallons at once and be okay. In the summer we can have fairly long dry spells punctuated by brief, intense rainfall. Despite the 30 day averages, if you notice this pattern you may need to water your trees periodically to keep them healthy (when trees look bad the first instinct is to look for a bug or a fungus per a chemical, but the first question should be: is it getting adequate water?).

The US Drought Monitor is a great tool for monitoring long-term trends in soil moisture at large spatial scales.

When your area shows up here, it is time to implement a drought response plan for your trees depending on the level of severity identified.