First, save trees. Tips for surviving drought – Forest research and service

Trees needed to reduce the temperature, to cool the “islands”

Due to the drought, water restrictions are making California people prioritize how to use their limited water. Landscaping Irrigation is the main source of water for many households, so residents are looking outside to save water.

Janet Hartin, a local horticultural consultant for the U.S. Cooperative Expansion Area of ​​San Bernardino, Los Angeles, and Riverside, said: “Trees take precedence over which landscaping plants to choose. “Healthy communities need trees. Fortunately, new California water restrictions allow supplies to ensure trees have enough water to stay alive and healthy.”

“Mature trees are crucial in cooling urban heat islands and we can’t lose them and start over,” Hartin said. “Shades of mature trees can reduce temperatures to 65 degrees Fahrenheit[65 ° C]in asphalt parking lots. When a tree’s temperature reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit[110 ° C]its temperature drops from 165 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit[165 ° C]. Even in the 90’s, the surface temperature can reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit[140 ° C].

In addition to providing shade, trees absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen, strengthen pollen and wildlife habitat, and reduce energy use by filtering pollution from air and water. Trees take years to grow and are not easily replaced by other plants.

When residents allow grasslands to turn brown, she recommends watering nearby trees.

“If a tree is in the middle of a lawn, it is definitely irrigated with grass,” Hartin said. “If it is not on a special drip system, pull the hose and allow the water to slowly seep into the soil in the morning or evening. Deep watering every two weeks for two hours will keep most trees alive. “

In most counties, irrigation restrictions do not apply to hand-held water and hand-held irrigation equipment, otherwise the restrictions will last longer than allowed. However, watering may be limited to the prescribed date in all cases.

“Make sure your authority also needs a hose shut-off valve,” Hartin said.

“We may have to stop producing fruit trees for a year or more. There may not be enough water to support fruit production, but the goal is to keep the trees alive during the drought, ”she said.

Keep the trees away from the trunk, halfway between the trunk and the dripping line – where the leaf ends and the rain drips from the leaves – because “the roots grow up and down. Leave the hose open so that the water can flow. ” “They want to encourage water to penetrate into the soil and the roots to grow deeper. The slow flow of water drips to one foot or less and the roots follow, which helps the tree to hold together. Move the hose every half hour for more watering.

Don’t have time to move the tube? Hartin suggests taking a sock tube and wrapping it in central circles 2 to 3 feet apart.

“Socket pipes are made of recycled rubber and allow the water to slowly drain out of the holes in the pipe, distributing the water evenly along the length of the pipe. Avoid using water pipes over 75 feet due to pressure problems.

Distributing the compost a few inches from the trunk can help reduce evaporation around the tree.

“It is better not to use them,” says Hartin. “Do not use organic wood-burning stoves in flammable environments as they are flammable. Instead of rotten pebbles, use rock-based products. Large wood chips with a depth of 3-4 inches and less than 1-2 inches of organic matter should be stored to protect against sunlight and weeds.

Residents may want to take care of grass for children and pets, as bare feet and palms can cause severe burns in temperatures above 120 degrees.

“People don’t realize how hot grass is,” says Hartin. “My study last summer in the Coachella Valley and Redlands found that the temperature on artificial lawns could be as high as 65 degrees above the grass and ground floor during the several days between May and August.”

For California lawns, drought-tolerant grasses can grow less than 30% water from bluegrass and other winter varieties. Examples are Buffalograss and Bermudagras. They still need maintenance such as mowing but they are great for play and recreation for people and pets.

“Grass provides a wide range of recreational, aesthetic and environmental benefits, including player safety, property value, mental health, soil erosion control, groundwater recharge and water quality, organic chemical decomposition,” said Jim Bard, a U.S. Riverside Extraction grassroots expert. Carbon expansion and environmental cooling.

There are also drought-resistant non-grass coverings.

“Plants cool the environment when they are transplanted. We now have a lot of water-resistant plants on the market and we have to go there,” Hartin said.

For those who are considering replacing their lawns and adding new landscaping plants, she recommends planting low-watering plants during the harvest season.

“It is very hot to plant in the summer and native and drought-tolerant plants also need water several times a week until they can survive,” she says.

Most counties have a well-trained volunteer help line with the UC Master’s Horticultural Program to advise on how to keep plants alive and to recommend plants that are environmentally friendly. Find the local UC Master Gardener program at

University of California Cooperative Extension
Drought and landscape tree care resources

Keeping plants alive in drought and water restrictions

Keeping foreign plants in a small amount of water (English)

Prioritize trees under drought and water restrictions (5 min video)

Tips to keep your landscape trees alive during a drought

Landscaping Irrigation to promote tree health, benefits and beauty

Landscaping Tree Irrigation 101

Top 10 ways to save water in your landscape and garden

Use of gray water in urban urban landscapes

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