Forseeing water woes
Water bill will reflect tree's loss and re-leaf
Do you have a big tree that lost leaves to frost,
and grew a new set? Both sets were made of water, literally. That
has serious implications for your garden, lawn and pocketbook.
Lately, we've been praying for rain and made a mantra of "Check
the soil, we bet it needs water" as we answer clients' and friends'
Even a midsized tree like this yellowwood (below:
Cladrastis lutea, one of the species that in many locations had
its first leaves stripped by frost in 2012's unusual spring)
can draw hundreds of gallons of water per day from its
root zone. That zone is everything under its branches and at least
a few feet beyond -- roots often go half again as far as
Start looking now for signs of drought stress in understory
shrubs and gardens, and in lawn near trees -- smaller than normal
foliage, foliage quick to wilt on a hot day, grass blades that
don't rebound after being pressed underfoot, etc. Plants in and
just outside the tree's drip line, which is the ground beneath the
widest branches, may face the worst competition. A tree's
water-absorbing roots tend to be concentrated there.
Water to help at-risk plants now. If your household budget can't
bear the strain of so much extra water, think ahead to gaps you may
need to fill in case of a midsummer collapse.
According to an Environmental Protection Agency report:
Nationwide, landscape irrigation is estimated to account for almost
one-third of all residential water use.