Houston’s trees need help. It may not be obvious yet, but without substantial rain in the next few weeks the effects of this year’s drought may greatly reduce the area’s green canopy in five years, according to a story in the Houston Chronicle:
The city stands to lose millions of trees, according to Trees for Houston, which has planted about 419,000 trees across the area in 28 years. The organization is calling for a grassroots watering effort, urging residents and civic associations to water trees, even those on public property.
Trees for Houston is stretching its budget to keep young trees it has planted watered once or twice weekly, spokeswoman Randi Cleary said.
The city is partnering with other organizations as much as possible to water public trees, city forester Victor Cordova said. City crews, for example, are watering 7,000 of the 25,000 trees planted in January for Arbor Day. The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for the rest.
Symptoms vary among species, but early signs of drought damage are yellowing leaves and leaf drop throughout the crown, Cleary said. As damage worsens, leaves die from the bottom of the tree upward and from the inside of the canopy outward. In some cases, leaves simply wilt, or they brown along their edges.
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