Given our current drought situation and water restrictions, how can I keep my mature fruit and ornamental trees healthy?
Lawns, bedding plants, and even shrubs take only a few months or years to replace in a landscape. Replacing mature landscape trees takes decades. Trees are a valuable resource and every effort should be taken to save them during the drought. For ornamental trees, a deep irrigation, wetting the soil to a depth of three feet, every 3-6 weeks during drought is the best tactic to keep trees alive. However, don't expect the trees to look their best. They will still show some signs of drought, including leaf drop and/or twig dieback. For fruit and nut trees, additional irrigation applications are required during fruit development to produce a good harvest. To help homeowners adequately apply the necessary quantity of water per irrigation application, the CA Center for Urban Horticulture (CCUH) at UC Davis, UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) and Ewing Irrigation devised a unique watering system called the Tree Ring Irrigation Contraption (TRIC). The TRIC is an inexpensive kit that homeowners can put together for around $100 for one large tree. Click here for more information on building and using the TRIC system.

 

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