You water, mulch and fertilize your garden regularly. But somehow, one or two of your trees die every year and you can never figure out why. Is it you? The environment? Something else?
Here are five common reasons why Austinites lose trees:
1. The weather and soil
If your trees are not native or adapted to Central Texas, they will likely not survive the long, hot summers, the occasional cold winter and the alkaline soil. As a result, they will also be much more prone to insect infestations, diseases and/or leaf-drop.
2. Transportation/planting damage
Young trees are especially susceptible to damage during transportation and planting. The bark is tender enough that if it’s damaged, the vulnerable vascular system could get exposed. If that happens, the tree will die because it will lose its ability to transport water and nutrients from the roots to the stems and leaves.
3. Root/leaf dehydration
Container-grown trees need watering every day until they get planted or their roots will dry out. This is especially true during the hot days of summer. And when trees leave the nursery, they need to be covered. If they aren’t, the wind will dehydrate the leaves and small limbs, which will traumatize the tree and possibly cause it to shed its leaves later.
4. Improper planting
Trees should not be planted too deeply into the ground. As a good rule of thumb, the hole should be as deep as the root ball is tall and about twice as wide. After the tree is in the ground, it should be covered with the original soil and a layer of bark mulch right up to (but not touching) the trunk.
5. Over (or under) watering
The most common reason why trees die in Central Texas is that they get over (or under) watered within the first year-and-half of the day they were planted. Trees need at least 18 months to get established so they can survive extremes of temperature. During this critical window of time, it’s wise to test the soil around newly planted trees to make sure the roots are getting what they need.
South Austin Irrigation is here to help you keep your lawn and garden looking good no matter the season. If you’re looking to upgrade/repair your irrigation system, contact us today!