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It’s that time of year again! Hot July temperatures and lack of rainfall are stressing trees. As a result the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB) Forestry Division urges residents to water their trees, especially young trees planted on boulevards. .”We really need residents to step forward to help us maintain these new trees by watering them once or twice a week as we deal with dry conditions,” says Paul Domholt, Community Forestry Coordinator.
• Using a garden hose, turn on the water at a slow rate for two hours. If a garden hose is not available, 20 gallons of water will properly soak a new tree.
• The best time to water trees is from 10 p.m.-8 a.m. Trees relieve water deficits (refill) overnight. Watering at night allows effective use of applied water and less loss from evaporation, assuring more water moves into the soil and tree.
• Pour left-over ice or water from your picnic lunch or supper beneath a nearby tree.
• Continue watering your tree this fall until the ground freezes, which often occurs in mid-to-late November.
Park Board Forestry crews mulch newly-planted trees each year for five years as needed. Mulch helps preserve root health by holding moisture, reducing weeds, and preventing damage from weed whips and lawn mowers.
For trees on private property, place a 4-inch layer of mulch, such as wood chips, in a doughnut shape around the tree, keeping chips two inches away from the trunk. Young or newly planted trees should have a two-foot radius of mulch placed a few inches away from the trunk. The Park Board provides FREE woodchips at sites throughout Minneapolis.
For more information on caring for trees or locating a wood chip distribution site, visit www.minneapolisparks.org or call the Forestry Division at 612-370-4900.