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
TxDOT reopens I-35 north of Georgetown (March 27, 2015)
SAPD searches for robbery suspect (March 26, 2015)
F.M. 3191 closed in Karnes County (March 25, 2015)
No injuries in Floresville bus crash (March 24, 2015)
Flash flood warning for Karnes, southeastern Wilson counties until 8:45 a.m. (March 21, 2015)
Latest from Wilson County Garden Day (March 20, 2015)
Wilson, Atascosa, Bexar, surrounding counties under flash flood watch (March 20, 2015)
Weekend cancellations due to bad weather (March 19, 2015)
Senate passes open carry gun bill (March 17, 2015)
Wilson County Garden Day is March 21 (March 17, 2015)
Joint statements issued on evolving role in Alamo management (March 12, 2015)
Wilson County residents report 'explosion' noise (March 12, 2015)
U.S. 87 closed north of Nixon (March 10, 2015)
Flash flood watch (March 9, 2015)
Officials charge McQueeney man in Guadalupe County shootings (March 9, 2015)
Rainfall report: March 3-9 (March 9, 2015)
DPS Increases Spring Break DWI Enforcement (March 6, 2015)
Search continues for Guadalupe County gunman (March 6, 2015)
UPDATE: Officials release sketch of suspected Guadalupe County gunman (March 5, 2015)
Bexar County officials seek help in identifying human remains (March 4, 2015)
Dump truck overturns south of La Vernia (March 4, 2015)
Texas AG Responds to Administration Request to Stay Executive Amnesty Ruling (March 4, 2015)
Body found in creek near Stockdale (March 3, 2015)
Public’s Help Needed to Find Child Possibly Exposed to Rabies in Austin (March 3, 2015)