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Surviving the Drought

As the Eastern half of North Carolina is still recovering from devastating flooding from hurricane Matthew, the other half of the state is entering moderate to severe drought conditions. Some communities are beginning to impose voluntary measures to conserve water and could soon move to water restrictions if conditions do not improve. Conditions on our tree farm are to the point that in addition to the drip irrigation we must hand water each tree we plan to dig. The tree spade will not penetrate the soil if we do not.  During these dry spells it is important to remember our urban landscape.

                Our large urban trees tend to get over looked during dry spells and we are beginning to see the results of this neglect. Everyone tends to focus on the new plantings, gardens, and turf. Over the past couple of years we have continued to see large, seemingly healthy, trees decline and die over the course of one or two seasons in our area. This is a result of years of drier than normal conditions and no supplemental care.  Providing a supplemental source of water can make the difference between a happy tree and dead tree. The best method I would recommend is to place drip irrigation near the drip line supplied by an inexpensive timer, and then apply 3-4 inches of mulch to retain the moisture.

                Water Wise Works was a campaign that was launched back in 2008 by the NC Green Industry Council to provide easy to follow guidelines for a water efficient landscape. The NCGIC also hosts an annual water symposium to identify water issues and to develop solutions in the green industry. Utilize these resources to educate yourself, your customers and communities about the importance of water usage in our urban environments and the green industry.

                Water crisis are unique to each specific area across our country and are handled in many different ways.  Education and voluntary conservation are superior alternatives to reactionary restrictions that we find ourselves stuck with at times. Please remember the importance of our landscapes which provide us all a more beautiful place to live. The quality of our lives through the water we drink the air we breathe and the conditions that surround us all depend on the “Green” that surrounds us all.

Saving Water NC

Water Wise Works Brochure


Trey Warrick


Shelby, NC