Residents asked to water thirsty urban trees

St. Paul and Minneapolis are asking residents to give trees on their properties and boulevards a drink during these abnormally dry conditions.

(video courtesy of the city of St. Paul)

Minneapolis tucked a notice in utility bills and St. Paul sent this news release:

The continued dry weather pattern is stressful on trees and can lead to a weakened condition more susceptible to illness, disease, and premature tree death. While some types of trees are more tolerant to water stress than others, current dry conditions call for all trees to be watered. Saint Paul’s Forestry Division has released a series of helpful tips and guidelines to assist residents in monitoring and watering their trees.

Signs a tree is suffering from water stress

• Yellowing of the leaves

• Drooping or wilted leaves

• Premature leaf drop and loss

Watering guidelines

Watering should be done in the early morning or evening for best results.

For large trees

• Larger trees need to be watered 2-3 times per week for 1-2 hours

• Using a slow trickle of water by the base area of the tree is best

For smaller trees

• Smaller trees need to be watered every other day for 30 – 60 minutes

• Using a trickle or a slow stream of water around the drip line (where water would drip during a rain event) is best

Due to the lack of rainfall, one or two isolated storms will not bring enough consistent water that trees need. Residents are asked to not only water their private trees, but to also water public boulevard trees that may abut their property. Residents with questions are encouraged to contact Saint Paul’s professional Forestry staff at 651-632-5129 or www.stpaul.gov/parks.

Minneapolis has more info, including advice from “Elmer the Elm” here.

For more on the “red flag warnings” about drought and fire risk, check our Updraft blog with Paul Huttner.

  • Step[hanie Hemphill

    I thought I knew how to water trees, but this tells me they need a lot more water than I thought! I’ll be learning more and sharing it on the air later this week.