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Helping heat stressed trees

Trees are suffering and need our help! But be careful, improper care can lead to more damage (for example, now is NOT the time to fertilize)!

During the last few days we have experienced record breaking temperatures and it should come as no surprise that this heat is damaging our gardens and shrubs, but don’t forget about our trees. Trees are perhaps the most important part of our ecosystem, they contribute to our environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife.

During the process of photosynthesis, trees take in carbon dioxide and produce the oxygen we breathe; this process can be significantly stunted or stopped completely during times of stress.

When daytime temperatures consistently reach above 90 to 95 degrees, biological functions in the tree begin to slow down. This allows the tree to conserve moisture by cutting back on transpiration, essentially putting the tree into a sort of dormancy where it exhibits even more signs of stress.

Similar to humans, trees also sweat out water. The process of evapotranspiration (the return of moisture to the air through both evaporation from the soil and transpiration by plants) is how trees transport water through their roots, trunks, branches and eventually out of their leaves. This process brings nutrients and water to all p