TREES IN PERIL ACROSS STATE

Saving water during drought yields unintended consequence

By Lisa M. Krieger

lkrieger@mercurynews.com

The rush to save water is claiming legions of unintended casualties — California’s trees.

Specimens that have stood tall and strong for decades are stressed and dying because of the drought, as Californians turn off spigots to comply with Gov. Jerry Brown’s mandatory conservation measures.

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PATRICK TEHAN/STAFF PHOTOS

HOW TO SAVE YOUR TREES

Clear grass to at least 6 inches from the trunk’s base. Some arborists suggest clearing it to the tree’s drip line.Cover the area with wood chips or other mulch to help maintain soil moisture, being careful not to let mulch touch the trunk.If the tree is younger than 5 years old, it needs 10 to 15 gallons of water per week during the growing season. Water established trees once a month, applying 10 gallons for each inch of the trunk’s diameter. Established oaks should be watered only during the Bay Area’s normal rainy season when there’s no precipitation.Water trees slowly, using a soaker hose or drip system. Continue watering a tree until the soil from beneath the canopy to slightly outside the drip line is moist 12 to 18 inches below the surface.

Read the rest of the article here.

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