Complete coverage of Texas' record heat wave of 2011

Heat Parches North Texas Trees

New trees need deep-root watering to stay alive

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Trees need a lot of water during the triple digit heat of a brutal summer. (Published Tuesday, Aug 2, 2011)

    North Texas lawns are taking a beating in the extreme heat, especially the trees.

    Experts say some trees need hours of watering a day, and a sprinkler system may not cut it.

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    Trees need a lot of water during the triple digit heat of a brutal summer. (Published Tuesday, Aug 2, 2011)

    "A new tree that is under five years old will not survive this summer without some TLC," said Denton landscaper John Noles.

    Noles, who has been in the tree business for 30 years, said days of extreme heat creates a deadly situation for his crop. He urges homeowners to treat trees the same way his nursery takes care of its trees.

    "You need to be walking your yard to see where your problems are," he said. "Address them before they become disasters."

    One trick to measure the moisture level in trees is to poke holes in the soil around the tree with a stick. When you take the stick out, it will show how deep the water has gone. If it comes back muddy, the tree has moisture. If it comes back dusty, it needs water.

    Noles said people should adjust their watering in the summer. Trees need deep root watering, which is more than a sprinkle.

    "If you have a regular sprinkler system that only waters grass, you need to lay a hose beside your tree at least twice a week at a slow trickle, and let it water for three to five hours," he said.

    Some homeowners said they have given up on their trees.

    "Money would be the top reason," Denton resident Anthony Ehrsam said. "Maybe if the city were to give a discount on the water during the hot months so you were able to water plants to keep them alive without it costing half your mortgage."