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Published July 25, 2012, 04:06 PM

Summer Heat Taking A Toll On Trees

The hot, dry weather has taken its toll on many plants this summer. Officials with the Grand Forks Forestry Department say they're starting to see many city trees stressed by the conditions.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - The hot, dry weather has taken its toll on many plants this summer.

Officials with the Grand Forks Forestry Department say they're starting to see many city trees stressed by the conditions.

All vegetation is affected by this summer's drought. But keeping your trees from becoming stressed requires a different method of watering than you do for your lawn.

"The leaves will start getting a scorch to them or a brown. You will start seeing some premature leaf drop at times, a lot of wilting," said Mike Fugazzi, a Grand Forks Forester.

Grand Forks City Forester Mike Fugazzi is describing the symptoms of a tree that is having trouble enduring heat without the water it needs.

"A lot of the younger trees, even the older trees some that were so accustomed to the last eight or nine years of a lot of moisture and all of a sudden, not getting that moisture," said Fugazzi.

Fugazzi says stress from the lack of moisture can weaken a tree, and make it more prone to disease. He says those trees that are showing signs of stress right now, may have been weak before.

"They probably were not the healthiest tree on the block. And now these dry conditions is kind of a secondary thing that is zapping the energy out of them," said Fugazzi.

While the city doesn't have the resources to go around and water every tree, most property owners do. Landscaping experts at 'All Seasons Garden Center' in Grand Forks say when people typically water their lawn, shrubs and flowers, it's not enough water for for the trees.

"Slow trickle, half hour to 45 minutes on each tree. A real slow trickle, and to water them deep," said Scott Kiel, employee of All Seasons Garden Center.

Kiel says there are trees that do better in dry conditions like a pine trees and American Lindens. But right now, no matter the species, if it was recently transplanted water is a must.

The younger ones are at most risk because they have been transplanted, the roots have been messed with. There you want to water every two to three weeks, through out the summer," said Kiel.

Experts also recommend putting a mulch around the smaller trees to help keep moisture in. And would include thing like small wood chips.

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