Have you checked on your trees?
The Tri-City News ran a short story on Coquitlam street trees this past Friday, August 17, 2018. The city installs watering bags on its street trees every summer and crews fill them up every two weeks. However, when we hit a dry spell, our city trees need extra watering and that’s where residents in all municipalities can help.
Have you checked on your trees lately?
So for the past few weeks I’ve risked the wrath of my boss by deep watering a struggling Magnolia on one of our sites. (Strata owners are responsible for watering). I’ve seen it lose most of its leaves in what’s technically called early leaf senescence. It’s a normal summer drought response by the tree. It’s not fall obviously; the tree knows that. The tree is simply conserving water by dropping its leaves which lose water through respiration. Once the leaves are dropped, water stays inside the main trunk.
The Magnolia should theoretically push out new leaves when water becomes available. So I ran a little experiment with this tree. I deep-watered the tree once a week for the past three weeks by turning the nearby hose on and leaving it running for several minutes so the entire drip-line zone got nicely soaked. Remember, a quick spray with a hose does very little for trees. Trees should be deep-watered with a slow soak. I also left the hose there hoping the residents would get the hint.
I had time to examine the tree while I watered it. And sure enough, I could see lots of new leaves pushing out which means that the tree noticed the deep watering. And my boss will never know, unless he reads this blog post.
Because trees provide us with many free ecosystem services they deserve the extra watering help from city residents. Have you checked on your neighborhood trees lately?