Are your trees suffering from heat stress?
Just like people experience heat stress, or heat stroke, so do trees. While you may know how to recognize signs of heat stress with people—flushed, hot red skin, a high body temperature, and so on—you may not know how to recognize the signs with your trees.
What Is Heat Stress in Trees?
A tree experiences heat stress when there is too little rain, and the tree cannot produce the sugars it needs for growth. When a tree lacks water, it may appear wilted in an attempt to conserve water.
Heat Stress Symptoms In Trees
Many of the indications that your tree is suffering from heat stress—particularly leaves that appear scorched or dead—could be mistaken for signs of disease. And yes, trees experience problems due to heat even here in Northeast Ohio.
These are some of the signs of heat stress in trees:
- Irregular yellowing of a tree’s interior leaves or needles
- Drooping and wilting leaves and branches
- Rust-colored spots or bumps on leaves
Treating Heat Stress in Trees
If you begin to notice the signs of heat stress on your trees, the best thing you can do is take action immediately. And pay attention for the signs in the future so you can identify them earlier and be proactive in your tree care.
Here are some recommendations to help your trees recover from heat stress:
- Properly water your trees and plants. Watering is so important, especially for newly planted trees. Trees need help in order to grow their root system. Make sure you are giving your plants enough water so that they have a water reservoir to pull from during the hot summer months. This is especially important when there are long stretches without significant rainfall—as you water plants and flowers, do not forget to also water your trees!
- For large trees, be sure to water up to the drip line which extends as far out as the tree’s canopy. Also start watering several feet from the tree’s trunk. This ensures that the entire root system is receiving the water it needs to grow and expand (a tree’s roots are not right around the trunk so watering there has little, if any, effect).
- After the extreme heat has passed, observe your tree closely. Are the leaves perking up? If not, you may need to consult a certified arborist for advice on caring for your tree.
It’s not always easy to tell if your tree is suffering from heat stress or if it’s actually a disease or pest problem. If you’re unsure about identifying heat stress in your trees, contact the team at Independent Tree for professional advice and assistance. We’re happy to take a look at your trees and give you a proper diagnosis.