How to Care for Your Trees in a Drought

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Our community is taking big steps to use water responsibly.  As we continue to prioritize our water use, it is important to remember one of our greatest assets: trees.  Trees provide countless benefits to communities and are a long term investment.  A new lawn can be installed in a weekend, but a mature tree takes at least 50 years to grow.

Drought stressed trees are more vulnerable to disease, insect infestations and branch dieback.  During times of drought, trees need a little extra help getting enough water.  Burbank residents are permitted to water their trees all the way through Level 5 water restrictions.  Know your watering days and rules.  Click here for current restrictions and drought information.


How do you know if your tree needs to be watered?  Check!  Use a screw driver or other tool and stick it 6-8 inches into the ground.  If the soil is dry and crumbly, it may be time to water again.  Every tree is different, but generally young trees will need watering 1 to 3 times per week (depending on temperature) while mature trees may only need watering 1-2 times per month.

When watering your tree, think low and slow.  Water at ground level to avoid losing water to evaporation.  Use a watering tool with a slow, steady release to make sure water soaks into the ground.  The goal is to get the water to the roots, which are typically 12-18 inches below the ground.  Don't forget to limit your water times before 6:00 a.m. and after 6:00 p.m.

Mulch can help keep moisture in the soil and protect your tree's roots from extreme heat.  Simply layer about 4 inches of mulch on the ground surrounding your tree, making sure to leave about 6 inches of empty space between the trunk of the tree and where the mulch begins.  Did you know the City of Burbank has a FREE mulch program?  Click here for more information.


tree_final  tree emergencies

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Forestry Services
Parks and Recreation Department
Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Phone: 818.238.5305 | Fax: 818.238.5321
150 North Third Street, Burbank CA 91502 


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