The rainfall this winter has many drought-weary Californians breathing a sigh of relief. The precipitation is truly welcome across California in hopes it will help our drought conditions. According to weather.com, there is more rain coming this winter and being prepared can make all the difference.
Many Californians remember the devastating storms of 1997-1998 when the storms caused major flooding, over $500 million in damages, and took the lives of 17 people. Due to the increasing probability of the storms being severe this year, the torrential rains could again bring devastating damage to the Southern California area.
With a pattern of consecutive dry seasons, many trees, including drought-sensitive as well as species that are normally considered drought-tolerant, can exhibit symptoms of drought stress.
Roots can be damaged, especially the feeder roots and root hairs, which are in the top 12 inches of the soil and are responsible for uptake of water and nutrients. These are the first portion of the root system to be affected by drought since they are very sensitive to drying. Damage to the root system can also trigger metabolic changes which can affect growth. In addition, drought stressed trees are predisposed to secondary invaders and opportunistic pests.
All of this weakens the tree, from the roots to its branches. Have your trees checked by a professional for drought stress. Trimming trees before heavy rain could prevent random breakage and help the tree avoid secondary problems.
The following are some measures for homeowners to keep their property safer in the event of what could be an unprecedented deluge:
Have your trees checked and trimmed
Clean gutters, downspouts, and drains
Invest in a generator in case of power outages
Turn off your automatic watering system unless it's a Smart Meter
Add mulch to your plant beds to increase the absorption of water
Those that prepare now can limit the amount of damage caused by heavy rains. In addition to preparing your property, remember to put together emergency supply kits for your home and car. For more information on what you will need for these kits and for further preparedness information, the following websites can be helpful: www.floodprepareCA.com, www.ladbs.org, www.ready.gov and www.aaa.com.
Our experts at Pacific Vista Landscape Services are here for all your landscaping needs!