How You Can Help Take Action to Reduce Effects of Drought on Trees

(Fargo, ND) -- There may be a Phase III Drought Advisory currently in place for Fargo, but the conservation efforts don't stop at watering lawns on your garbage day.

Fargo City Forester Scott Liudahl is encouraging residents to be mindful of the effects dry conditions may be having on trees on and around their properties. Dry conditions may cause drought stress in trees and make them more vulnerable to pest attacks and other health issues. Following current watering restrictions and guidelines, residents should consider supplemental watering and other strategies during dry conditions. As a reminder, hand watering, drip irrigation, bubblers and other systems that do not propel water through the air are exceptions from watering restrictions. 

“Newly planted trees typically do not have an extensive and well-established root system and may need extra watering a couple of days per week," said Liudahl. "The majority of healthy, established and mature trees will be able to handle drier conditions for one season. However, they may also need your help. Supplemental watering will help these trees withstand pest attacks and remain healthy. A slow soaking at the outer edge of the drip line - the area shadowed by the trees branches - about every seven days can be effective.”

In addition to watering, Liudahl says wood chip mulch is recommended. Mulch provides many benefits including reduction of turf grass competition and weed growth, improving moisture conservation and the infusion of critical nutrients into the soil as the mulch breaks down.

Liudahl recommends spreading mulch three to four inches deep as far out as the lower branch tips, but mulch may be spread further. It is important to keep mulch three to six inches away from the base of the tree.

Residents with questions about proper mulching can call the Fargo Forestry Department at (701) 241-1466.