When you live in an area that is in a severe drought, the trees in your yard will feel the strain from the lack of water. When trees consistently do not receive enough water to thrive, they succumb to a condition known as drought stress. While potentially fatal, trees do give off early warning signs that they are suffering. Knowing how to spot these signs allows you to take measures to relieve them of their symptoms.
1. Check the Appearance of the Leaves at Different Times of the Day
One way you can spot the signs of drought stress in your trees is by observing them throughout the day. At different times of the day, check the appearance of the leaves to see if they are drooping or wilted.
In the beginning stages of drought stress, the leaves will wilt during the day’s heat. Overnight, however, the air’s moisture will help rejuvenate them somewhat.
As the trees become more desperate for water and the condition progresses, wilting and drooping will be evident at all times of the day and night. Before the leaves reach this stage, give your trees supplemental water to help replenish them.
2. Look Carefully at the Edges of the Leaves for Discoloration
Another way to find signs that your trees are under stress from the drought is to look carefully at the edges of the leaves. Along with curling inward toward the center stem, the edges may turn black as though they were scorched by fire.
When not enough moisture is inside the leaves, the sun’s rays will start to burn them. This damage will worsen if the stress continues, making the leaves turn entirely black or fall off the branches.
3. Inspect the Trunk for Long, Horizontal Cracks in the Bark
While looking at the leaves, turn your attention toward the trunks of the trees. If they are under severe stress from the drought, you may find long, horizontal cracks in the bark.
When there is little moisture in the wood of the trunk, it will become so dry that it will split open and rip the bark around the cracks apart. You will need to tend to the trees when you see these cracks in the trunk because the openings will leave them exposed to insect infestation.
Even if you can start treating the trees in your yard and giving them water daily, there may still be dead or dying branches that need trimming. Since trimming and pruning trees while they are vulnerable could kill them, you need to have a professional take care of your trees. Contact Salas Tree Service in Bakersfield, CA for an inspection and assistance with trimming and pruning, tree removal, and other tree care services.