If you’ve driven north from Santa Rosa through Healdsburg you can’t help but notice the number of dead or dying Redwood trees along the 101 corridor. Because Santa Rosa, Windsor, Healdsburg and adjacent cities receive no rainfall for the summer months, Redwood trees begin to show signs of drought stress in late July and August, particularly in our current extreme drought conditions. Trees in areas closer to the coast have the benefit of foggy nights that the Redwood trees are able to utilize the water particles captured by the foliage to provide more water to the trees. When trees are drought stressed, they are more susceptible to “Redwood canker” (Botryosphareria dothidea) a foliage disease that affects our Sonoma County Redwood Trees, causing dead and dying trees. Redwood canker usually starts at the top of Redwood trees and can spread from the top of the tree to lower branches. If untreated it may lead to the death of the tree.
To prevent the spread of the canker affected branches should be removed and if necessary the top of the tree may need to be cut lower. Trees will sprout from the “heading cut”. There may be several new tops that grow from the area and unfortunately the new tops will not have the structural integrity of the original single top. Additional pruning will be needed to select the most structurally sound leader and remove weakly attached leaders. Rely on the Certified Arborists at TreePro Professional Tree Care to provide the best option for restoring your Redwood trees to reduce hazards, and prevent dead and dying trees.
How can you help protect your Redwood trees in times of drought? Additional irrigation will help alleviate the problem. The best way to provide supplemental moisture is using a soaker hose placed around the tree trunk and extending out near the drip line. The drip line is measured from the outer foliage of the tree down to the ground. Place the hose in circles around the tree and leave the hose connection at the outer area of the tree. A hose can be hooked up to the female end of the soaker hose when irrigation is needed. Spreading a four inch layer of Arbor Mulch on top of the soaker hose around your trees will help retain the valuable water. TreePro Professional Tree Care offers free mulch in Santa Rosa, Windsor, Sebastopol, Rohnert Park, Petaluma and Healdsburg areas.
Give us a call to get on our “Chip List” at 528-3300 and we may be able to deliver a free load of mulch to your property. Redwood trees will benefit from as much water as you can give them but considering we are in a drought and water bills must be kept in mind you will have to consider the amount and frequency of supplemental irrigation. Weekly or bi-monthly irrigation will be beneficial.
It’s of upmost importance to provide extra water during periods of high heat. When temperatures approach 100 degrees or greater Redwood trees begin to exhibit drooping of branch tips on the south and west sides where the sun is hottest. These drooping branch tips can result in the loss of foliage at the ends of the branches. To alleviate the problem increase irrigation during hot periods. An hour or two of water from the soaker hose should be adequate to prevent the die-back of branch tips.