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Summer 2012 Drought Effects on Trees (IL)

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From: Ray Gallup
Naperville, IL
What wiil the effect of the drought conditions have on older trees. I have 40 to 60 foot pines on my property.

Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Well Ray, that is indeed the million-dollar question! The honest answer is that nobody can predict the future, thus I have absolutely no idea what will happen to your individual yard trees.

Yes, this past summer will likely affect future growth, health, and vigor in the most drought-stricken areas of the state. To what extent – nobody will know until next year or five to seven years from now! Fortunately, NE Illinois did not suffer like many of the other parts of the state.

Longer, but still Short Answer: I have no idea how your trees are going to respond to this summer’s drought and severe temperatures, as I do not know the preexisting health and vigor of your tree(s). Furthermore, you did not indicate whether you adhered to a supplemental watering regiment this summer? Most healthy, mature trees are able to withstand periodic weather-related phenomena such as the extreme weather we experienced this summer: Severe drought and excessive summer temperatures. Obviously, homeowners who watered their yard trees this summer will likely benefit the most from their efforts.

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