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No rain and hot days can stress the trees in your yard. Here's what you can do

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Lester Graham
/
Michigan Radio
Trees dropping leaves in the middle of summer is a sign of stress from heat and little or no rain.

The heat and lack of rain are starting to stress trees in some parts of Michigan.

Mostly the trees experiencing stress are young ones planted in the last two or three years. Other trees that might be stressed because of the current conditions are those where construction might have damaged roots.

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Bert Cregg
/
MSU Extension
MSU researchers find a ring of mulch 2-3 inches deep is critical to reducing tree stress.

Michigan State University Extension Service says some telltale signs are leaves dropping from the trees, or curling. In evergreens, look for drooping needles.

The Extension Service says the best thing you can do is water those trees once a week. But, don’t over-water them. Water one for a bit, go to the next tree and water there for a while to give the moisture time to seep into the soil around the first tree. You can go back and water that one a little more if necessary.

MSU researchers have found two to three inches of mulch is critical to reducing tree stress. It helps keep moisture in the ground and reduces the soil temperature around the roots.

The researchers advise that even if we get a little rain, keep an eye open for signs of stress on your trees.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Radio from 1998-2010.
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