The amazing tropical summer is over and fall is in full swing, kind of? We were busy sweating up a storm at Arborpolitan during this summer of intense heat. The summer was filled with pruning, both large and small, garden installations, tree and stump removal, plant health care, a few sopping wet rainstorms and there was even a trip out to the beach!!
According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the northeast climate region saw some record highs this summer. July is on record as the 13th warmest since 1895 and August as the 2nd warmest. For both irrigated and non-irrigated sites, extended periods of heat slows the biological function of plants. The effect occurs when daytime temperatures exceed 95 degrees for an extended period of time, regardless of the amount of moisture in the soil. One of the ways to help plants make it through extreme heat waves is to make sure they receive enough water, because they cool themselves by way of water evaporation through their leaves (transpiration). Keep in mind that it is best to water in the morning, second best in the evening and to water the soil directly. Applying mulch is another way to keep the soil moisturized and cool. In the city we also have added heat stress caused by concrete. The concrete acts like an oven, baking nearby plants and causing excessive evaporation. Heat stress can also make plants more susceptible to pests, fungi and disease. If you keep this information in your tool box for next summer you’ll be ahead of the heatwave.
EXTREME RAINFALL & STORMY WEATHER
Along with extreme heat we also saw above average rainfall in the northeast region. Although water is a necessity to plants, as I’m sure many of us know from first hand experience, in excess it is a detriment. When soils are saturated with water the supply of oxygen to plant roots is reduced, creating anaerobic conditions, the soil pH is raised and the rate of decomposition of organic material changes. All of these conditions weaken a plant, making it susceptible to pests, fungi and disease. One easy tip to remember is to rake aside any mulch that may be covering the soil during this rainy period, this will help increase the level of oxygen in the soil.
Stormy weather adds high winds to the mix of extreme rainfall and can leave you with quite a mess. We had a few calls for emergency limb removal this summer. Sometimes storm casualties can be prevented with regular inspection and pruning of large trees. The inspection gives you an idea of what is going on with your tree, its health and vigor and possible structural issues. After the inspection a plan of action can be created to mitigate future problems, whether it involves pruning, cabling, fertilizing the soil surrounding your tree or, our least favorite, removal.
We hope you all had a wonderful summer, though insanely humid at times, filled with enough memories to carry you through the colder months ahead.