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Nurturing Trees in Scorching Summer Sun

As the summer sun beams, it’s not just humans who feel the warmth; trees also persist the harsh conditions of the season. With rising temperatures and increased moisture scarcity, trees face significant stress during summer. Comprehending the effect of these conditions on trees and implementing proper care measures is vital to preserving the green beauty of our landscapes and ensuring the well-being of our surroundings. In this article, we delve into the various stressors trees encounter during summer and provide essential tips on how to take care of them during these challenging periods.

Drought Stress

One of the most critical challenges that trees face during the summer months is drought stress. As temperatures rise, the need for water intensifies, leading to exhausted soil moisture levels. Drought stress can weaken trees, making them susceptible to diseases and pests, and may ultimately lead to their decline or even death.

How to Combat Drought Stress:

  • Watering: Adequate watering is crucial during summer. Ensure trees receive deep and thorough watering, focusing on the root site. Water early in the morning or late in the evening to decrease evaporation.
  • Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree to preserve soil moisture, subdue weeds, and regulate soil temperature.
  • Rainwater Harvesting: Collect rainwater in barrels or other receptacles during rainy times, and use it to irrigate trees during drier periods.


Just like humans, trees can suffer from sunburn too. Young and tender bark is especially vulnerable to the scorching sun’s blunt rays, leading to sunburn injuries. Sunburned trees can experience cracked bark, reduced photosynthesis, and increased susceptibility to pests and diseases.

How to Prevent Sunburn

  • Shade Cloth: Install temporary shade cloth or use umbrellas to shield young trees from direct sunlight.
  • White Tree Wrap: Apply white tree wrap or paint on the tree’s trunk to reflect sunlight and reduce heat absorption.
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Pests and Diseases

Summer stress weakens trees, making them more susceptible to harmful factors. Insects like aphids, mites, and borers can infest stressed trees, causing further damage. Additionally, fungi and bacteria thrive in warm, humid conditions, leading to infections that can be detrimental to tree health.

How to Manage Pests and Diseases:

  • Regular Inspection: Inspect trees regularly for signs of pest infestations or disease symptoms. Early detection can help prevent severe damage.
  • Pruning: Remove diseased or infested branches promptly and dispose of them properly to prevent further spread.
  • Organic Pest Control: Consider using natural and organic pest control methods to minimize harm to beneficial insects and the environment.

Soil Compaction

Summer activities like picnics, outdoor events, and foot traffic can lead to soil compression around the tree’s root zone. Compacted soil restricts water and air movement to the roots, causing stress to the tree.

How to Address Soil Compaction:

  • Aeration: Use an aeration tool to create small holes in the soil, allowing better water infiltration and root respiration.
  • Mulching: As mentioned earlier, mulching can help prevent soil compaction, acting as a protective layer.

Heat Stress

High temperatures can lead to heat stress in trees. Unlike humans, trees cannot seek shade or cool down by sweating. Excessive heat can lead to leaf scorching, wilting, and a reduction in overall tree health.

How to Alleviate Heat Stress:

  • Watering: During extreme heat, increase watering frequency to provide comfort to the trees and maintain their health.
  • Shade: Consider using temporary shade structures to protect sensitive trees from intense sunlight.

Tree Trimming Practices

Improper pruning can exacerbate summer stress for trees. Heavy pruning during summer can remove vital leaves that provide shade and reduce transpiration. This can result in excessive water loss and further stress for the tree.

Proper Pruning Tips:

  • Prune during the inactive season or early spring to minimize stress on the tree during summer.
  • Focus on removing dead, diseased, or crossing branches to improve tree structure and health.

Summer stress for trees is a serious concern that can have long-term effects for the environment and our surroundings. By understanding the various stressors trees face during summer and implementing proper care measures, we can ensure the well-being of these trees and preserve the beauty of our landscapes. Remember to water wisely, protect against pests and diseases, and be mindful of pruning practices. By nurturing trees during the scorching summer, we contribute to the sustainability of our planet and the generations to come.

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