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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Friday - July 15, 2011

From: Palo Pinto, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Watering, Trees
Title: Watering Oak Trees in the Summer
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

Should you water oak trees in the summer? Some people say its not good for them. But many trees seem to be withering up and dying in this heat. Especially the black jack oaks. There are also post oaks and live oaks in this area but they seem to be doing better.

ANSWER:

The short answer: Yes!   Oak Trees are, in general, extremely drought tolerant, but that doesn't mean they are not affected by drought.  Tree experts agree that during extreme drought conditions, a little bit of correctly done watering is extremely beneficial to your trees.

This previous Mr Smarty Plants question had a good direction towards a website from Central Texas Tree Care which describes the issue and also to the University of Illinois Extension which recommends a watering plan.  Here are a number of articles from the Colorado State Cooperative Extension, from Urban Forestry South [New Mexico], Walter Reeves.com, and Fine Gardening [California].

Its a pretty consistent story though - Yes, please water, even including your established trees. Give them a good soaking near and maybe a bit past the drip line.  Water roughly every two to three weeks, this ought to do just fine as long as the "good soaking" is sufficiently long.

 

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