We all realize that trees need water to live. The many leaves on a tree contain pore-like holes (stomates) that put moisture into the air. As that vapor leaves the tree, it pulls more water up through the trunk and limbs, like liquid through a straw. Channeling the power of the sun, trees split apart that water into oxygen and hydrogen molecules, creating glucose with the hydrogen and releasing the oxygen into the air. The glucose is what increases growth in the tree. This is what help trees through a drought.
Times of drought can be issued for trees, but it is based on the type of tree. Much research has been done on the effects of drought on trees, which offers excellent and helpful data. Little moisture in the soil means little water to change into glucose, which means a briefer growing season.
This by itself isn’t an issue since most established trees can live without photosynthesis for up to 12 months. But a prolonged drought can create a more extended period of dormancy and quicker intervening periods to get ready for it, which could have huge effects on the landscape. An arborist can help your trees during a drought.
Trees and Drought in the Home Landscape
In a perfect world, rain showers in the growing season deliver water to dehydrated tree roots. Life-giving water helps trees to expand, grow, shelter wildlife, provide shade, as well as photosynthesis. Water and air are amazingly turned into food. Sadly, we don’t live in a perfect world, and prolonged droughts can happen. Droughts not only disturbs the daily functioning of trees, but it can bring lasting and severe damage to trees.
Climatologists tell us that we can anticipate droughts to occur more often in the future. With that in mind, we are smart to know how drought affects trees and learn what we can do to assist trees. Trees cope with drought, and we need to determine which trees are instinctively tolerant of long dry spells so that we can have our trees in good shape and continue to reap their benefits for many, many years.