Individual homeowners, apartment building managers and businesses are responsible for watering not only the young trees on our own properties, but also those with green bags in our tree box areas along the street. And we have help in this endeavor.
Casey Trees, a great local nonprofit that focuses on “restoring, enhancing and protecting” the DC tree canopy, sends tree watering alerts from May through September. (Sign up here and Casey Trees will send you a free rain gauge.)
To mark the end of its 2017 summer alerts, it has compiled the data from the four-month period and compared the alerts to past years. Casey Trees has given us permission to share the blog post detailing its findings. You can also read the original post at CaseyTrees.org.
by Jona Elwell
Casey Trees communications specialist
From May to September, we looked at prior rainfall, projected rainfall, and the general forecast to figure out one thing – whether or not you should water your young trees. Since they need 25 gallons of water a week to stay alive through the hot hot D.C. summer this is a big job!
How did the 2017 Weekly Watering Alerts shake out? A surprisingly cut and dried year. During our alert period (May-September), we had 21.79 inches of rainfall with an average temperature of 75.4 degrees. Although that doesn’t seem too crazy, our monthly breakdown of precipitation totals and average temperature are all over the place. July had the most rainfall, with 9.15 inches, as well as the highest average temperature, with 82 degrees. June was the month with the lowest amount of rainfall – only 1.13 inches, and May was the coolest month – an average of 66 degrees.
What did all this mean for you and your trees? Over 22 alerts, exactly half were to not water, eight alerts were “Must Water” and there only three optional alerts. Considering in 2014 over 40% of the alerts were optional, things have changed.
As the summer has officially come to an end, so do our Weekly Watering Alerts. However, just because our Watering Alerts have ended doesn’t mean you should stop watering – our arborist suggests that trees still in their first two to three years should still be watered once a week through October… and possibly November if warm weather persists.
Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-833-4010 if you have any questions.