Monsoons and Tree Care

Mon, September 01, 2014 12:59 PM | Anonymous

In lieu of the monsoon, we thought we’d provide some helpful tips about how to take care of your trees to make them stronger and, therefore, less vulnerable to damage during this time of the year.  

The word monsoon comes from Arabic and means “wind shift.” It’s this change in wind direction and speed that can really damage trees, new and old. Monsoons in Arizona are typically between June 15th and Sep 30th. Along with violent wind, monsoons bring heavy rain which can over-saturate the soil around a tree and make the tree vulnerable to strong winds, as the roots have a weaker hold.  Even old trees with healthy root systems can be yanked up by monsoon winds. Although trees cannot be completely sheltered from such damage, there are things you can do to mitigate it and strengthen a tree’s chance of surviving the season. 

  •  Add mulch and fertilize to your trees consistently and adequately so your tree grows healthy and are better prepared to withstand the monsoons. Ensure that you are properly watering your trees so the soil does not become compacted or excessively big and heavy due to overwatering. (Refer to our blog on How to Properly Water Your Trees).
  • Prune trees every year (or every 2-3 years, depending on the type of tree) because poorly pruned trees increase the chances of limbs and trunks snapping off. Reducing the canopy size by 10-15% makes it easier for the wind to pass through it. Desert adapted trees can be pruned from May-July, when they grow the fastest (in the middle of monsoons). 
  • Young or weak trees might need to be staked for additional support during this time.  However, remove the stakes once the tree is stable. (Refer to our blog on How to Properly Stake a Tree). 
  • Keep an eye on your trees to spot early damage such as splitting along the branches or trunk and tend to it promptly.  
  • Remember that money spent on routine maintenance and care of your trees will be assuredly cheaper (and less time consuming) than repairing damage caused by snapped and uprooted trees.

If you have some helpful tips or a monsoon success story (or failure and lesson learned), please share with us here or on our forum. 

Resources:

http://www.moonvalleynurseries.com/monsoon-season.html

http://archive.azcentral.com/home/articles/20130716tree-pruning-best-monsoon-protection.html

http://www.arizonatree.com/articles/preparing_arizona_trees_for_monsoon_storms.html

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