Tree Care & Safety

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Spring Flooding Causing Damage to Your Trees?


Are your trees drowning? A wetter-than-normal spring can leave trees sitting in soil saturated with water. Too much water at the base of a tree can cause myriad problems. Too much water can be as bad for trees as too little water. While some trees are suited to survive occasional floods, most are not. In addition, as a tree becomes older, its ability to adapt to abrupt environmental changes decreases. When Spring water levels recede, consumers may begin to notice problems with their trees.

Symptoms of flood injury, in the order that they develop on the foliage, are:

  • Slight wilting or drooping of the foliage;
  • Yellowing and browning (necrosis) of leaf edges;
  • Browning in the center of the leaf.

The best prevention for this problem is to avoid planting flood-intolerant trees in areas that are frequently flooded. There are a variety of wetland trees and shrubs that can be planted instead. There are not many practical short-term solutions other than improving drainage. Whenever changes in drainage are made, the impact to all the affected landscape and landscape plants needs to be considered.

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