Ready To Fall: Drought-Damaged Trees

If you've watched the plants on your property suffer during the drought, it may be a relief to see the rainy season arrive. However, it might already be too late for the trees on your property. Drought can damage trees in ways that aren't necessarily visible to the naked eye, and once the damage is done, a good rain might spell disaster: trees falling on homes, cars, and even people. Read on to learn more about how your trees might be suffering from the drought and what symptoms to look for.

Shriveling Roots

Trees aren't like camels: they don't store water, so if there isn't enough rainfall, they suffer. The roots of the tree that are responsible for drawing moisture out of the ground shrivel and die. The tree will usually grow new ones to replace those its lost, but in periods of extreme drought, the cycle will repeat more and more rapidly since there's little or no moisture to keep the roots alive. If enough time goes by without rain, the tree may not have the roots it needs to absorb moisture once it does finally rain.

Worse yet, if the tree is in this condition when a major rainstorm comes through, it won't have strong roots anchoring it deeply into the ground. Wind gusts and wet, loose earth can combine to rip the tree right out of the ground, killing it and destroying anything in its path as it falls.

Increased Susceptibility To Disease

Trees that are struggling through a drought are also more prone to acquiring diseases. Trees are living beings, and the combination of a lack of water, higher temperatures and excess sun exposure can weaken the tree's natural defenses from these diseases. Tree diseases can weaken or kill trees and often spread from one tree to another.

Signs Of An Unwell Tree

Unfortunately, not all sick trees have visible symptoms, but there are a few things that are a clear sign that your tree is not well:

  • Short Green Season - If your tree's leaves begin to change colors and fall off earlier in the year or season than usual, your tree is probably not doing well.
  • Curling Leaves - Ordinarily, leaves only start to brown and curl once they've died and are ready to fall off the tree. In severe drought, however, the leaves may not be receiving enough sustenance and can curl while still alive.
  • Dead Branches - If some of the branches of your tree are bald with no leaves or blossoms while others are alive, those branches may have died. This could indicate irreversible damage to the roots of the tree.

What to Do

California has been stricken by a drought for more than a year and during a recent major rainfall, many trees fell, damaging homes and hurting people. These problems can be prevented if you have trees that you suspect are damaged or dying removed. .

If you want to be sure that it's the right thing to do, don't just hire someone with a chainsaw: a trained, licensed tree removal company will be able to assess whether the tree is dead or dying and if getting rid of it is appropriate.

Unfortunately, drought wreaks havoc on plants, and trees are no exception. If your tree needs to be removed, consider planting a drought-tolerant species as a replacement. To learn more about tree removal, visit Chief Beaver Tree Service