One of the perks of having big, luscious trees on your property is the generous amount of shade they provide on a hot summer day. If you have trees in your yard, there has probably been more than one occasion when you’ve sought refuge under their canopy from the blistering sun and stifling midday heat.
Just as your trees have helped protect you from the summer sun, you need to protect them from the harmful effects of those same high temperatures. The key to keeping your trees safe from heat stress is to understand how it happens, recognize the symptoms, and be ready to act before too much damage has been done.
What happens when trees get heat stressed?
Trees cool themselves through a process called transpiration. Water that has been absorbed by the roots and transported throughout the tree is released through the leaves as water vapor. This water vapor cools the surface of the leaves as well as the air around them.
If temperatures get too high, a tree may not be able to absorb water fast enough to support the rate at which it has to transpire to keep cool. As a result, the tree begins to function slower, produce fewer nutrients for itself, and becomes weak and vulnerable to pests, disease, and other damage.
How can I tell if my tree is heat stressed?
If you live in a hot climate or experience a summer heat wave where you live, you should be on the lookout for the following signs of heat stress in your trees:
- Wilted, curled, or scorched leaves
- Drooping branches
- Interior leaves or needles turning yellow
- Green leaves falling
- Rust-colored bumps or spots on leaves
How do you care for a heat stressed tree?
The most important step to take to both prevent heat stress and treat it once it happens is to keep your trees moist and properly watered. Water your trees consistently at the drip line—starting a few feet out from the trunk at the canopy edges—as the roots grow outward underground. Be careful not to water directly at the base, as this may flood and injure it. Then, add a fresh layer of mulch to the root zone to help conserve moisture and insulate the roots from the heat.
If you’re worried about the health of your trees holding up in the Texas heat, call the specialists at Forest Tree Service in Kingwood.
We offer comprehensive tree care specific to the needs of the trees on your property, including fertilizing, pruning, trimming, and more. Give us a call at 281-381-4125 to learn more about our expert services and get your free estimate today!