This does not mean that all of our plants are doomed. Some plants are just better adapted to our tough Kansas conditions and have suffered little to no harm. However, it is a good idea to check the overall health of your trees. So how do you tell?
One of the most important clues in determining the health of your trees is the amount of new growth that tree has produced. A healthy tree should have a minimum of 4 to 6 inches of new growth each year and usually much more. Check branches with the tips in the open and not shaded by the tree itself. Anything less than 4 inches on the majority of branches suggests the tree is under a great deal of stress. We had an article in this newsletter last week that showed what to look for.
The only thing poor growth tells you is whether a tree is under stress or not. It does not tell you what is causing or has caused poor growth. This year, the most common cause by far is environmental stress caused by the dry fall and winter followed by excessive rain this spring.
So, what do we do for trees under stress? The most important practice is to water as needed. See last week’s newsletter for information on proper watering practices. (Ward Upham)