Water is the most limiting ecological resource for a tree, and without adequate moisture, decline and death are imminent. Drought can have a major impact on tree health and survival. It reduces carbohydrate production, significantly lowering energy reserves and production of defense chemicals in the tree.
Trees in a weakened state from drought are more susceptible to pests, which can further weaken the tree, and even kill part or all of it. Although there is nothing we can do to prevent drought, it is important to know what can be done to reduce long-term effects of prolonged dry conditions.
Urban Forestry Specialist Lindsey Purcell describes how homeowners can deal with drought-stressed trees in the short-term and long-term in his publication “Drought? Don’t Forget the Trees!” Purcell also provides insight on the state of Indiana’s drought-stressed trees and how to protect them in the video “Trees in Times of Drought.”
Lindsey Purcell, Urban Forestry Specialist
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University