Watering Trees During a Drought - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Watering Trees During a Drought

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As we head into summer chances are our dry weather will put a strain on our plants, especially trees.

Tree experts say a big mistake that a lot of homeowners make in the hot months is watering trees the same way they water their grass. And in this drought, that could actually kill your tree. "People are watering their lawns three days a week, when trees really only need to be watered once or twice a week, and they need to be deep-watered,” says Heidi Kratsch, UNR Cooperative Extension Horticulturist.

Kratsch says if you rely on your lawn sprinklers to water your trees you may need to do some extra watering. Just run a hose on a slow trickle for an hour or two, near the trunk if it's a young tree - and further out under the canopy for a mature tree.

You can also add mulch or compost near the base of the tree to help the soil retain moisture.

Trees need a lot of water,  upwards of 100 gallons a week, but Kratsch says it's worth the investment since trees enhance the value of your property and the shade can cut your cooling costs. "Trees are the most valuable plant in your landscape. It's estimated that trees over their lifespan of about 50 years are worth about $50,000 to a typical homeowner."

The Cooperative Extension is offering free classes on keeping trees alive during a drought. They're happening on May first from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at their headquarters on Energy Way in Reno.

For more information, go to http://www.unce.unr.edu/news/article.asp?ID=2073
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