Dying of Thirst
Rampant grass fires aren't the only potential danger to come from The Great Drought of 2011.
Although not as much of an immediate threat, the current drought and previously erratic nature of Texas weather could spell disaster for Houston's trees down the road.
Trees, especially young ones, require much more watering than their smaller, closer to the ground counterparts. Without special attention and care for trees across the city, Houston could be facing a great loss of the green canopy in as little as five years.
Without special attention and care for trees across the city, Houston could be facing a great loss of the green canopy in as little as five years.
Local organization Trees For Houston has planted over 420,000 trees across the city since 1983 and is calling for a grassroots (treeroots?) watering effort across town. Trees at biggest risk for drought damage are those in public spaces, like parks and esplanades, that fail to receive the individual attention of trees on private property, such as yards.
Trees For Houston has published various guidelines for dealing with ailing trees throughout the drought.
Their watering tips include:
- Small, one-year-old trees should receive 28 gallons of water per week,
- Two-year-olds need 56 gallons per week,
- Three-year-old trees require 112 gallons of water per week.
- All trees need a deep, thorough soaking once a week.
TFH also encourages the removal of grass and other vegetation near the base of the tree to ensure the optimum amount of water reaches the tree's roots.
The loss of trees would not only be detrimental to the beauty of Houston, but could also lower the quality of life in the area. Without shade in which to bask, enjoying the great outdoors in the heat of summer could become a much more miserable task.