How to Care for Your Trees in a Drought

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 Tree Care

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 screwdriver or other tool and gently push it 6-8 inches into the ground.  If the soil is dry and crumbly, it may be time to water again. How often will you need to water? Every tree is different, but generally young trees will need watering  1-3 times a week (depending on the temperature) and mature trees will need watering 1-2 times each 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 watering times to before 9 AM and after 6 PM!  Click here for more information about watering times.

Mulch keeps 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 that the City of Burbank has a FREE mulch program?  Visit us online to find convenient pick-up locations.  Need a lot?  You may qualify for home delivery.   Click here for more information or call 818.238.5300.


 Tree_web 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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