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Increasingly Hot Temperatures and Lack of Precipitation Pose a Threat on Newly Planted Trees | Environment

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Increasingly Hot Temperatures and Lack of Precipitation Pose a Threat on Newly Planted Trees
Increasingly Hot Temperatures and Lack of Precipitation Pose a Threat on Newly Planted Trees

Nothing has a greater impact on new tree survival than adequate watering. In the past two years the City of Grand Rapids has planted over 1,600 trees which are in need of watering this summer. The City is working hard to keep up with its current watering practices and will continue to make improvements, but as the temperature continues to rise so does the need for more watering to help keep these trees healthy.

The City of Grand Rapids urges all home and business owners to take some time to water both their own trees and public trees this summer. As the City strives to reach an urban canopy goal of 40% (currently at 34%), it is crucial that we all lend a helping hand to help establish and maintain newly planted trees. The root systems of young trees are not fully established and require extra attention, especially during these hot and dry months. Newly planted trees require about 20 gallons of water once a week and as much as twice that amount during extremely hot, summer weather. It is best to provide good, long soakings, once a week rather than frequent, light watering. The morning hours are usually the best time to water.

Trees provide a multitude of social, economic, and environmental benefits for urban inhabitants and are integral components of the livability of our cities and towns. Our street trees reduce energy consumption, reduce carbon dioxide levels, improve air quality, mitigate storm-water runoff, and provide other benefits associated with aesthetics, increased property values, and quality of life. The cumulative value provided by our street trees is averaged to be $105 per tree annually, for a total of $6.5 million annually.

Start watering now and continue until mid-fall, tapering off for lower temperatures that require less-frequent watering.

City trees are located between the curb and the sidewalk along public roads, along public pathways, and in city parks.

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