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Drought Having Impact On North Texas Trees

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The heat wave is withering flowers and turning green grass brown. The hay crop is already ruined. And now, it’s taking a toll on trees.

Big, tall trees that many thought were sturdy are now dying and falling.  “I guess I woke up on Sunday to discover my neighbor’s tree sprawled across my roof,” said Tish Balch.

Balch, who lives in Dallas, said, “It was a gorgeous tree.”

It’s a Red Oak. One of its huge limbs simply cracked.  “You know, roughly 3,200 pounds falling on a house,” James Watt said.

Watt owns DFW Tree Triming Service. He says the cracks on the stump show the limb, which was about 16 inches in diameter, was dry.

His crews have been busy this summer.  “Trees need water. You gotta give them a good deep watering at least once a month, If not, they’re going to dry up,” Watt said.

Watt said when it’s dry, trees conserve water through the trunk. During a drought, the first thing to go are the leaves then the limbs.

“The major roots which really need the moisture are anywhere from 2 to 6 inches,” Watt said.

A sprinkler system won’t do the trick.  He uses a deep watering rod.  “Get it down a foot and a half or so and soak the whole the whole area around the tree,” Watt said.

Watt said trees are like people. He really doesn’t like cutting them down. He likes having them around.

Even Tish Balch liked her neighbor’s tree.  “I liked the shade when it was there. I didn’t like the branches coming off but I did like the tree.”

One other thing to remember is that trees become much more susceptible to disease when they don’t have
any water.

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