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Distressed Trees Prompt Early Watering Reminder

July 24, 2015

With high temperatures around state, the Oregon Department of Forestry is reminding people to water their trees.

Signs of distressed trees include leaves that are curling, wilting or appear scorched.

Cynthia Orlando, an ODF spokesperson, said deep watering is essential.

"Using a soaker hose and letting the water get down deep on all sides of the tree so that it soaks all the way down into the soil," she said. Additionally, she recommended putting out mulch to help retain moisture and maintain soil temperatures.

She said the department is seeing signs of drought stress in Eugene, Portland and southern Oregon.

"(Gov. Kate Brown) has declared drought in most of the counties in the state by now," said Orlando. "So it's really important for home owners, and gardeners, public parks and others, to remember that trees need weekly deep watering."

Normally the department doesn't issue a deep-water reminder until September, but Orlando said the temperatures have been warmer than usual in addition to a warm, dry spring.

"We had some extreme temperatures end of June and first part of July, so things are just amped up a bit," she said.

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One juniper tree consumes an average of 30 gallons of water each day. In Oregon, juniper has encroached onto somewhere between six and nine million acres. Historically, the species occupied 1.8 million acres in the state.

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