Protect Your Trees from Drought and Summer Heat

SummerTreesHeat is a common weather pattern in Texas during the summer. Sometimes, the heat gets extreme. Without much rain, many trees will struggle through a drought period. So, how do you protect your trees from drought and summer heat? They kind of go hand in hand. When there’s too much heat, subsoil moisture is completely gone. Trees lose water faster than they can replace it.

Trees will begin to show signs of drought stress. These can include:

  • Wilted foliage,
  • Leaf scorch,
  • Sparse canopy,
  • Undersized leaves,
  • Yellowing,
  • Leaf drop,
  • And premature fall coloring.

If you look at the tree closely, you may also see stunted twig and bud growth. Trees that are susceptible to summer heat or drought conditions can also have problems with insects and diseases.

To protect your trees from drought and summer heat, you can take certain actions such as:

  • Mulching,
  • Watering,
  • Fertilizing,
  • And pruning.


Mulching is a significant way to protect trees and shrubs in the summer. It provides the soil with many benefits such as nutrition, increased moisture, weed suppression and temperature moderation. Of course, remember to water trees before mulching. Mulch should be layered 2-inches deep with no contact between the mulch and the tree trunk. If you put the mulch too close to the bark, the moisture will build up and can cause decay. Some experts recommend that you spread the mulch to a width of about one foot around the tree for best results.


Trees require more water in the summer than at other times of the year. Watering trees and shrubs during the hottest part of the day is not a good idea, however. This can lead to evaporation before the water reaches the root. Water your trees slowly to prevent over-watering. By watering properly, your trees will have a deep root system. If you water in small amounts daily, you can also avoid root rot. The best time to water is between 10pm and 6am.


You should fertilize your trees throughout the year. The early summer months, however, are the best times for nitrogen-based fertilizer. This works especially well if your leaves are becoming discolored or wilted. Determining the right balance of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium can be difficult. Folks who work at gardening stores might be able to help you out.


When you are pruning your trees, you should focus on removing dead, damaged and diseased branches. This will protect your trees from heavy storms by reducing wind resistance. Of course, you should probably have a certified arborist like the one at Austin Tree Service do the pruning. We will make sure to get the branches that are necessary.

We hope that this blog post has helped you protect your trees from drought and summer heat. Unfortunately, those weather conditions are unavoidable in Central Texas. If you ever have any questions or want more information, feel free to call us at 512-341-8888. We’re happy to help.