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October 17, 2021
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Soak It Week reminds Oregonians to water their trees (Photo)
Emergency Management

Soak It Week reminds Oregonians to water their trees (Photo)

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon is in the grip of a deepening drought ranked as severe to exceptional in more than half the state. Our yard and street trees are particularly hard hit by the prolonged dryness. That’s why Trees for Life Oregon and Oregon Community Trees have again declared the last week in July and the last week in August as Soak It Week. Oregonians are reminded that to keep their street and yard trees healthy, give them a good, slow soaking in their root zone.

“Unlike a lawn, trees are a long-term investment well worth the water needed to get them through our dry summers,” according to Kristin Ramstad, ODF’s Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program Manager. “People enjoy multiple benefits from healthy, mature trees. They not only clean the air and reduce noise pollution, they also keep things cooler through shade and releasing water from their leaves into the air.  There are also mental health and social benefits, such as improved focus and less stress.”

Deciduous trees under three years need weekly watering in Oregon from the time they leaf out until they’re leaves turn in the fall. The recommended amount is about 15 gallons. Young evergreens need watering once winter rains end and until fall rains return. 

If you’re lucky enough to have a drought-tolerant Oregon white oak that may be all the watering you need to do. But most other species of trees still benefit after they are three years old from a good soaking every other week until they are established (typically at about 10 years). After a tree is established, it benefits from deep watering once a month during the dry months of July and August (hence Soak It Week). 

Oregon Community Trees President Samantha Wolf says, “Well-watered trees grow faster and are less likely to suffer scorching of their leaves and premature leaf drop. So watering gives you a better-looking tree over time than ones that struggle through our increasingly dry summers.” 

Learn more about tree watering at https://arbordayblog.org/treecare/how-to-properly-water-your-trees/

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