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Decatur arborist offers tips in caring for drought-suffering trees


Decatur’s new Landscape Infrastructure Coordinator, Kay Evanovich, came before city commissioners recently with tips regarding the care of trees during the current drought.

With young or smaller trees, and particularly with water restrictions in place, she suggested collecting water in a five-gallon bucket while you shower or while the water’s warming up.

Take a second bucket, punch a 1/8th inch hole and place it near the tree trunk. Pour the saved shower water in this bucket so it seeps slowly in the soil and move the bucket to a different location next to the trunk each time. A young tree needs 10 to 15 gallons water weekly.

She also suggested natural wood chip mulch for more mature trees, defined as a trunk whose diameter is more than 15 inches. Keep the mulch several inches from the trunk and spread it 5 to 10 feet in diameter or to the drip the line if possible. It should not be more than two inches deep.

Evanovich added the ambrosia beetle has become particularly insidious during the drought. Their signature is creating tunnels that release a toothpick-looking fungus on the exterior. Any tree displaying this fungus has to be cut.


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