The Rolling Plains is known for harsh environmental conditions. A few simple, but very important practices can improve the chances of your plants recovering, or extend the life of a healthy one. Read Texas A&M AgriLife Extensions tips for caring for stressed trees and shrubs.
- Apply it 3-4 inches deep. More is not better.
- Hardwood mulch is recommended.
- apply mulch to the drip line or just beyond.
- do not place mulch against the trunk.
- Target the tiny feeder roots at the drip line.
- SLOW, DEEP SOAKING at the drip line is the best method. Use a soaker hose, or move the end of a water hose. It could take several hours, but the deeper the moisture goes, the less often you need to water.
- Water trees until soil moisture is approximately 12 to18 inches deep. Use a screwdriver or rod to see how deep it will penetrate. This indicates the depth of adequate soil moisture.
- Over-watering is as harmful as underwatering.
- Newly planted /young trees need to be checked weekly, especially if there is limited or no rainfall. **check moisture inside the root ball, not just in the surrounding soil.
- Mature trees don’t usually need watering, except possibly during extended drought.
- Irrigation bags often don’t provide enough moisture to reach beyond the drip line
Fertilization— Not recommended
- Fertilizing increases stress on trees, as this signals the plant to grow at a time when heat and wind can be a problem and providing adequate water is difficult
- Treatment is not recommended as borers typically attack only unhealthy trees.
- If you treat, imidacloprid (active ingredient) is recommended each year about February.
- Cut at the correct location of the branch for proper healing
- Make 3 cuts on a large branch to prevent damage to the trunk
- Pruning can be done any time of year except for oaks. Don’t prune them in February until June if there is a risk of oak wilt disease. Pruning paint is rarely needed, except for oak trees.
Going Above and beyond
- Vertical mulching can improve aeration. Click here to learn more.
- If you feel your tree may warrant injection treatments you need to find a certified arborist. You can find one at www.treesaregood.org
Click here for information on Heat Stroke In Trees
Click here for Water Recommendations.
Courtney Blevins | Texas A&M Forest Service Ft. Worth, Texas
David Graf | Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Wichita County http://wichita.agrilife.org [email protected]