Drought conditions putting stress on area windbreaks
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Once well established, a windbreak doesn’t take a lot of maintenance, until drought conditions hit.
Robert Tigner, extension educator for the Southwest Four, said windbreaks are definitely under stress this summer with the heat and lack of rain.
However, the first stages of stress in evergreens and pines began last fall. Then the lack of snow last winter worsened conditions, Tigner said.
Windbreaks rely on that moisture over the winter months, he said. When they don’t get it, the trees begin to suffer stress.
With the drought conditions present this summer, it would be well to water windbreaks, Tigner said. The best way to do this is with a drip system. However, hand water will also benefit the trees, he added.
One of the best ways to help the trees will be to watering them during warm periods of winter. This helps reduce stress on the trees as they go into another summer.
Seeing disease in pines
Tigner said he’s seen some disease issues in pines this summer that’s not related to drought conditions.
If the pines are diseased, Tigner said there’s little that can be done to save them. This is first evidenced by the needles turning brown.
He’s already seen instances where a pine is completely dead in just a couple of months.