For Immediate Release - April 8, 2002

Drought Effects and Tips for Maintaining Lawn and Landscape Health During Drought

Bedford Hills, NY —April 8, 2002— As New York residents face worsening drought conditions, SavATree arborists and lawn care specialists advise proactive measures for maintaining a healthy landscape during periods of water use restriction and voluntary water conservation.

Stress caused by drought creates an opportunity for insects and disease pathogens to take advantage of valuable plantings and can result in the loss of key landscape features,” according to SavATree President Daniel Van Starrenburg . “However, there are steps that can be taken to address short term drought symptoms that maintain a balance between the conservation of water and the preservation of tree, shrub and lawn health.”

“Drought symptoms will be visually dramatic in the short term,” Van Starrenburg says. Homeowners can expect to see smaller leaf size, wilted or drooping foliage and scorching (browning) of leaves. Without water most lawns will turn brown or grey, but that is usually just a sign of dormancy. As long as the roots survive, insect and disease threats are addressed, and watering resumes, a lawn’s green color will return.

For trees and shrubs, SavATree advises deep root feeding with a biostimulant such as ArborKelp® around the “drip line” area where roots are most heavily concentrated. This procedure will stimulate fibrous root development and increase the root cells’ ability to absorb vital nutrients. This is particularly important for recent transplants, newer landscapes and older trees whose root systems may be compromised by other stress factors. For lawns, aeration, dethatching and fertilization are recommended to minimize stress and maximize a healthy recovery when conditions return to normal.

While concerned homeowners cannot prevent the symptoms of short term stress from showing up on their landscapes, they can take steps to strengthen their trees, shrubs and lawn and still abide by water use restrictions. SavATree provides the following tips and recommendations:

Trees & Shrubs

1. Water trees and shrubs longer and less frequently (as permitted).

2. Use a slow flowing hose at the base, allowing water to seep into soil gradually and saturate the roots.

3. Apply at least 2 inches of mulch around trees and shrubs to retain moisture and reduce weed growth.

4. Deep-root feed your trees around the “drip line” area to heighten stress tolerance.

5. Have a professional inspect your trees and shrubs for signs of insect and disease activity.


Lawns & Gardens

1. Water your lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day, usually early morning.

2. Have your soil tested for nutrient content. Water absorption and retention increases with soil quality.

3. Utilize a slow-release fertilizer containing Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium that is activated by moisture. Apply it during drought so that nutrients are present when your lawn does receive water.

4. Aerate your lawn and remove thatch to help water get to the turf’s root zone.

5. If watering is restricted to the extent that it is not possible to irrigate properly, it is best to cease watering and let your lawn go dormant. Light watering encourages shallow rooting and crabgrass.

6. Do not mow dormant turf as it may cause permanent damage.

About SavATree: This premier tree, shrub and lawn care company has been providing environmentally sensible tree, shrub and lawn care to residents, businesses and historic properties for over 20 years. They currently operate in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia, and Washington D.C. Industry certified arborists provide clients with expertise in tree care and help clients maintain a healthy, safe and beautiful landscape. Services include pruning, disease diagnosis, removal, insect and mite treatments, organic lawn care, integrated lawn care and more. For more information, please contact us.

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SavATree provides tree service in the following areas:

Connecticut - Fairfield, Hartford, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, Tolland, Windham; Illinois - Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry County, Will; Massachusetts - Barnstable, Bristol, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Rockingham, Suffolk, Worcester; Maryland - Montgomery, Prince George's; New Hampshire - Rockingham; New Jersey - Bergen, Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union; New York - Bronx, Brooklyn, Columbia, Dutchess, Manhattan, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Rockland, Suffolk, Ulster, Westchester; Pennsylvania - Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Hampshire, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, York; Virginia - Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William; Washington, D.C.

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SavATree offers a full range of tree, shrub and lawn services to the following locations:

Connecticut - Fairfield, Hartford, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, Tolland, Windham; Illinois - Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry County, Will; Maryland - Montgomery, Prince George's; New Hampshire - Rockingham; Massachusetts - Barnstable, Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Rockingham, Suffolk, Worcester; Minnesota - St. Paul, White Bear Lake, Still Water, Woodbury, Mendota Heights, Sunfish Lake, Twin Cities; New Jersey - Bergen, Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union; New York - Bronx, Brooklyn, Columbia, Dutchess, Manhattan, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Rockland, Suffolk, Ulster, Westchester; Pennsylvania - Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Hampshire, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, York; Virginia - Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William; Washington, D.C.; Wisconsin - St. Croix.