For many of us living in Claremont Australia, we have hot, sunny weather for much of the year and we see it as a positive bonus, however, such a climate also comes with its fair share of issues, and one we come across regularly is how the heat and dry weather impacts landscaping and gardens.
In particular, the many plants which grow in landscaped gardens have to have first been chosen carefully, and they then also have to be cared for and maintained according to the local weather conditions. One of the natural features you will find in many landscape designs is a tree, and it is trees that grow in hot conditions and their welfare which we are going to focus on in this blog post so that you never have to face the issue of a tree succumbing to the hot summer heat.
One of the most puzzling things for us is when we hear from homeowners who have issues in their gardens caused by heat when we are well into the summer months. It puzzles us because, firstly, summer occurs in the same months every year, and second, with only rare occasions, most areas will have the same hot summer weather each year, so it should never come as a surprise.
As such, everyone should be able to plan for the weather that is going to be coming, and if you are not, then by the time you get around to doing anything to help protect your trees it could be too late. So, start planning as soon as possible for the hot weather that is sure to come in summer.
Inspect Your Trees Regularly For Evidence Of ‘Heat Stress’
One of the core tasks we recommend for every homeowner with a landscaped garden that has trees in it, is to regularly inspect the trees for signs that they are suffering from heat stress. Such evidence includes leaves falling off the tree unexpectedly, the trunk secreting sap, signs the tree is wilting, and scorched leaves.
All of these can indicate that your tree has lost much of the water it would usually retain in cooler conditions.
Provide Trees With Copious Amounts Of Water
This might seem like one of those blindingly obvious actions that you would expect everyone to take to help plants and trees on hot days, but you would be amazed at how many people forget, or simply do not think it is needed. Our advice is to water trees regularly when you have had a run of dry days and when each of those days has seen the temperature reach extremely high levels.
When watering, ensure that you focus on each tree’s roots as this is where they take in most of their water. Also, it is better to water trees first thing in the morning when it is cooler as this reduces the amount of water lost through evaporation.
Add Mulch Around The Base Of The Trees
Our old friend mulch makes another appearance in one of our blog posts and for good reason. After water, mulch can be the most effective way of providing a tree with much-needed moisture. It also provides an excellent layer of insulation to the soil and thus helps to keep the temperature of a tree’s roots minimised during hot periods. In addition, mulch retains the moisture where it is needed most, at the tree’s base.
Use Water Storage Crystals
Water storage crystals will absorb water, retain it, and then release it slowly. To use them to help trees you should soak your water storage crystals so that they swell with water, and then create a series of planting holes around the trees. Place one or more water crystals in each one. Note, you should not simply throw water crystals on the ground next to a tree as they will absorb some of the water that the tree would otherwise benefit from.
Add Some Shade If Possible
Just as you might find shade for yourself or a pet to protect you both from the hot sun, the same principle applies to your trees. It may be more difficult to do this with larger trees, but it is still possible, The idea is that you create a permeant or temporary shade for trees so that they are not subjected directly to the sun’s hot rays. Ideas include screens made from cloth (old curtains or sheets), timber frames, a wall, or even fine netting.