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Simple Ways to Keep your Tree Thriving in the California Drought

We are halfway through October, but for many City of Glendale residents it feels less like fall and more like an extended summer. The lack of rainfall and cold weather not only ruins our Halloween vibes, but contributes to California’s five year long drought. City and private trees, having suffered through the past four years of drought conditions, are not fully leafing as they once were and many more are dying. Tree mortality will continue to rise as the drought continues, but with the help of city residents and a little love, trees can be saved.

Glendale Public Works and the Forestry Department have created a simple Do’s and Don’ts list to keep your trees healthy and alive during the drought:

DO WATER: Even drought tolerant trees need water occasionally. Larger and more established trees can be watered once a month. A newer and smaller tree should be watered once a week. If a tree is already starting to show signs of being affected by the drought, we recommend you water it twice a week.

DO WATER LOW AND SLOW: Tree roots are usually found one to three feet below the surface. In order for the water to reach these roots, you should apply water in a manner that will allow it to soak into the soil.

DO MULCH: Add a 2-4 inch layer of mulch beneath the dripline of the tree, leaving a foot of space between the beginning of the mulch and the trunk.

DO SUPPLEMENT: If you have trees in your yard and have recently switched to drought resistant landscaping, then you will need to add supplemental water to your trees.

DON’T WATER AT THE TRUNK: Most of the roots that absorb water are located at the edge of the dripline, not near the trunk.

DON’T FERTILIZE: Trees expend more energy to process fertilizers. The energy instead could be used to get through the drought.

If you have questions about city trees in the City of Glendale, you can call the Forestry Department at (818) 548-3950.

This and other stories, news, and informational pieces can be found in the My Glendale Public Works newsletter. This free quarterly publication highlights important construction updates, events, and exciting developments in the City of Glendale. Click here to subscribe and view older newsletters.

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