Forest Service can help with trees damaged by wildfire, drought
COLLEGE STATION -- The driest seven-month period recorded in Texas history occurred from October 2010 through April 2011 -- and it’s taken a toll on the state’s trees and plants.
How dry is it? To put it into perspective: Green plants normally have a moisture content ranging from 125 to 200 percent or more. But during severe and prolonged drought, the moisture content of live, woody plants can drop below 100 percent. This is harmful to trees and plants and often results in extreme fire behavior.
Texas Forest Service Entomologist Joe Pase said drought-stressed trees may exhibit signs of decline. There are a couple of tests that landowners can perform to determine whether their tree is dead or just dormant.
· Collect some small twigs about one-eighth inch in diameter and try to break the individual twigs. If they snap and break like dead, dry twigs it could mean the tree or branch has died. If the twigs bend and don't break with a snap, the tree may still be alive.
· Use your fingernail to scrape bark from a small twig or branch. If the tissue under the bark is green and moist, the tree may still be alive.
To be absolutely sure the tree is not dead, wait until the next spring to see if it sprouts a new crop of leaves.
“During times of drought, the best thing for trees and plants is water,” Pase said. “Homeowners should consider watering valuable shade trees (pine or hardwood) and other landscape plants to lessen the stress from drought and heat. Water the ground area beneath the branches in the evening or early morning. Without rainfall, watering should be done about every 10 to 14 days.”
Landowners concerned about the health of their trees should contact a local Texas Forest Service office or a professional consulting forester for assistance.
Read Entomologist Joe Pase’s report on drought in trees and plants.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Breaking News Archives
Governor Abbott Adds 24 Counties To Disaster Declaration, including Wilson (May 25, 2015)
National Weather Service continues alerts (May 25, 2015)
Rain leads to flooding, road closures (May 25, 2015)
Update: Tornado warning extended: National Weather Service (May 25, 2015)
Flash flood warning until 12:15 a.m. (May 23, 2015)
Tornado watch until 3 a.m. (May 23, 2015)
Flash flood watch for all of South Central Texas, May 23-24 (May 22, 2015)
Update: Encana workers secure blown Karnes County gas well (May 21, 2015)
Rainfall report: May 11-17 (May 18, 2015)
Flash flood warning issued May 15, expires at 1:45 p.m. (May 15, 2015)
Union Pacific suspects weather caused Pleasanton derailment (May 15, 2015)
Events rescheduled this weekend (May 14, 2015)
Severe thunderstorms, flooding possible in area (May 14, 2015)
Tornado watch for South Central Texas (May 13, 2015)
Weather Updates; Road closures; Flash flood warning until 5:15 p.m. (May 13, 2015)
Flash flood watch continues May 12 (May 12, 2015)
Officers nab fleeing fugitive (May 12, 2015)
Rainfall reports for May 4-10 (May 11, 2015)
Update: Six suffer injuries in U.S. 87 crash (May 7, 2015)
Cornyn Presses State Department On Clinton Emails (May 6, 2015)
ADL condemns violence at Garland event (May 4, 2015)