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Endless Spring Rains and Their Effects on Tree Health

The warm spring rains still have not stopped for more than a day or two. Pollinators have not always been able to do their job (remember that hand pollination with a q-tip can work great!). Fungal infections will be more pronounced this year in both deciduous and coniferous trees, especially if growing from clayey soil. As nice as this extra water is for snowpack and aquifers, responding excess plant growth will be weaker than normal and more susceptible to pathogens, heat events of summer, and winter storms.

As we move into summer, remember that drought for plants is one week without water; a higher water table might keep the soil moist in some areas, just be aware you need to start checking for soil moisture content where roots are after one week of non-sufficient precipitation when wondering if the trees have had enough water to sustain them through a continuing dry spell. Heat makes it harder for trees to draw up water especially from clayey soil, even more so as the soil begins to dry out.

When seasonal heat starts building daily trends into the 80’s (Fahrenheit), time is right to let trees and woody shrubs grow until cooler times of the autumn allow for faster sealing of pruning wounds. Moth and Beetle adults will be about until early summer looking for places to lay eggs, sometimes a stressed tree already oozing resinous secretions; keep an eye out for them on or near your valued trees. Try to hand-eradicate tent caterpillars and other nuisance insect species before they impact tree health or proactively call a sprayer. Be aware that I have been hearing that people are having a hard time finding a tree sprayer working in this area. (Please let me know if you recommend one in particular.) 

Any early leaf fall caused by a pathogen should be cleaned up and incinerated if possible. Clearance and mitigation work should continue as needed. Mosquitoes and flies will be happy this year; try to find stagnant water where they might be breeding. Hammocks can be hung on trees well by using tree straps, which are basically wide webbing loops which avoid tree injury. Additionally, using a guy line(s) from near the same point as the hammock anchor to a point opposite the load will help greatly in relieving strain on smaller tree stems. Oh, one last thing, please tell someone in charge immediately if you see a larger than normal hornet.

Yours in Trees,


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