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Water your Trees Today!

The City of London has issued a Tree Watering Alert on August 23rd, 2013:

Due to a lack of significant rainfall in the past two weeks, the City has issued a tree watering alert. Londoners are being asked to water new and mature trees on public and private property.

Drought is the major cause of tree stress and can lead to permanent damage, especially in young trees. Lengthy periods without rain - typically a week or more - can lead to the most common symptoms of stress appearing, including browning and wilting of leaves. Sometimes the symptoms of drought stress are not visible until the next year, when they appear in the form of insect attacks, disease and poor growth.

"Trees require water to maintain their regular biological functions: to build new buds cells; ensure root growth and build up energy reserves to prepare them for the winter and next spring's growth," says Rick Postma, Forestry Technician for the City of London. "Trees weakened by lack of water make them less resilient in the long term."

All trees, big and small, need at least 2.5 cm of water per week in order to thrive. To water a newly planted tree with the equivalent of about 2.5 cm of rain per week around the tree base (1 square meter) is 22 litres per week (0.022 m3) which at $3.28/m3 costs less than 10 cents per week

When watering trees, it is important to soak the soil slowly around the tree continuing out to the outer branches to ensure all the roots get moisture. To make optimal use of water, early morning or evening watering will reduce evaporation loss.

Please remember the City of London Water By-law W-3 is in effect until August 31. If your street address ends with a 0, 2, 4, 6, and 8 you can water outdoors on EVEN numbered calendar days only. If your street address ends with a 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 you can water outdoors on ODD numbered calendar days only.

Did you know?

Unlike grass, trees do not go dormant during times of drought – they continue to try to grow. We need to water our trees before watering our lawns to avoid long-term damage.