Last Year's Drought Affecting This Year's Landscape

If you take the time to look up, you'll see dead and dying trees across the Brazos Valley and all over Texas. While some of the after effects of last years drought are just now showing up, it is not too late to save parts of your landscape that may be stressed.

Doug Welsh, with Texas Agrilife Extension, says "the first step to realizing there is a problem is to simply look up and take a look at the trees." Some trees are noticeably dead and should be taken care of before they fall and cause more problems -- whether it be falling on your property or a neighbors. Others may be partially dead, or struggling, and can still be saved with a little extra work.

Welsh says "the big shade tree, the big canopy that you sit underneath in the summertime, are the trees that need to be taken care of the most." By taken care of he means they need mostly water.

Arborists recommend not to fertilize trees specifically, simply because you don't know just what shape each tree may be in. According to Welsh, "we are always seven days from a drought and we are going to get there again."

The problem with the drought of 2011 was that trees were not able to create a storage of water. Since we don't know how the upcoming summer will play out, those struggling trees may not get the water they need, naturally, to survive.

The better bet is to spend the dollars and water those trees via a slow soaking method. Be sure to water down the trunk of the tree as well as around the base of the trunk. Using a soaking method guarantees that the water is seeping down to the roots, where needed, rather than running off to areas not intended for.

Coming up on News 3's 10 at 10 on Thursday, we will look into the prediction, made last year, that Texas could suffer a 10 to 15 year drought. While the Brazos Valley is currently out of drought status, that doesn't mean we couldn't quickly slip right back in.

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