Tree Care Maintenance: 3 Tips To Caring For A Tree Recovering From A Drought

Posted on: 25 January 2017

After a drought, you'll notice that the trees on your property may just be barely hanging onto life. The lack of water in the drought might have exhausted the tree of all of its energy and nutrients. As a result, it is in a particularly vulnerable state and is susceptible to diseases and injuries. It's important to spend extra time caring for a tree recovering from drought, so that it can return to its former glory. Here are 3 maintenance tips to keep in mind.

Replace the Mulch for Better Water Retention

One of the first things that you should do to help your tree is to replace the mulch that you have lying around its base. In particular, upgrade to organic mulch, like wood chips, as they are able to most effectively retain moisture. Organic mulch also has the capability to feed worms, microbes and plants that surround the tree. This will help restore the environment back to its original condition. Restoring the environment quickly can help the tree recover even faster.

You want to apply a layer of mulch that is anywhere from 2 to 6 inches thick. If the mulch is coarser and looser in texture, you should layer it on even thicker. On the other hand, if the mulch is relatively smooth, you won't need as thick of a layer. Be careful not to suffocate the tree by adding too much mulch. If you're not sure what to do, a tree maintenance company will be able to monitor the condition of the mulch and replace it in appropriate intervals.

Water Appropriately and Check the Soil

To recover from a drought, the tree needs a lot of water. The amount of water that you provide at a time will depend on the type of soil that the tree is planted in. If the soil is porous and allows water to drain well, you can basically leave the sprinklers on; however, if the soil is rather dense, like clay soil, then you might want to water the tree in intervals to prevent the water from pooling at the base of the tree. Too much water can drown the tree roots.

On top of watering the tree more frequently, you need to check the condition of the soil to determine how well it is retaining the moisture. When checking the condition of the soil, you need to dig deep to see whether the water is even able to make its way down to the roots.

Avoid Fertilizing the Tree for the Time Being

Although you'd think that a tree recovering from drought will require a lot of nutrients from fertilizers to grow and heal, you couldn't be more wrong. Trees that are recovering from a drought are weakened and are particularly susceptible to root burn from the salts that can be found in fertilizers. As a result, you should remove any fertilizers that you see and also avoid fertilizing the tree for some time until it has fully recovered.

A tree maintenance company, such as Destiny's Tree Service LLC, will be able to monitor the health of the tree based on the condition of its bark, roots, leaves and more. They will be able to accurately determine whether there are any ions and minerals that your tree is lacking. If there is, they will not only know when is an appropriate time to provide the nutrients, but they will also know what the best way of fertilizing the tree may be to avoid causing any further damages and injuries.


Depending on where you reside, droughts might be fairly common. Learning how to properly care for a tree recovering from drought or hiring a tree maintenance company that can do the job for you is critical in preserving the tree and keeping it healthy.