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How to help your drought stressed trees

4th July 2014

Well summer certainly seems to have arrived this year, with warm sunny skies becoming the norm lately instead of the usual nice day here and there between the downpours!

The view from the back of our yard is superb on days like these... but your trees will be suffering. Young or newly planted trees in particular lack sufficient root volume and may simply dry up and die in this weather, so do try and remember them when you’re watering the roses in the evening. Healthy, mature trees are unlikely to die as a direct result of insufficient water but they can be left weakened and susceptible to the ever increasing number of pathogens affecting trees in the UK today. One of the coping mechanisms mature trees have for dealing with drought stress is to sacrifice some of their branches. This is thought to be one of the causes of the little understood phenomenon known as ‘summer branch drop’ when major, apparently healthy branches simply fail and crash to the ground during prolonged dry spells.

More common though is the shutting down of less productive secondary branches within the crown which then die and eventually fall. This is why you may have noticed an increase in the volume of dead wood falling from your trees after a hot dry summer. Even these branches can be quite substantial when they fall, posing a real threat to persons or property below but are often difficult to spot from the ground when the tree is in full leaf.

The best way to avoid this is to regularly have the dead wood removed from your trees by professional arborists. It’s a relatively inexpensive operation and usually only needs doing every two or three years to avoid the build up of larger dead branches. If you have any concerns about the safety of your trees and would like an expert opinion to put your mind at rest, we are always happy to pop out without obligation to inspect your trees, so feel free to get in touch via the contact page.



Back in January we replaced our old Jensen Wood chipper with a brand new Forst model which we have been very impressed with. Last month we bought another one to replace the schleising and so along with the tracked machine we bought at the start of 2013, we have now replaced our entire fleet of wood chippers over the past 18 months. This has been part of a wider reinvestment programme for the company which has also seen us replace our stump grinder, trucks and other vehicles over the same period. We have one more of the Isuzu tippers to replace in early 2015 and then we are done, set up with new equipment to see us through the next 5-7 years.

Our latest Forst machine on it's first day!

Totalling over £120’000 of investment, It has not been a cheap process but I believe it is vital in order to maintain our company image, reflecting the quality of work and service we provide and to continue attracting the good quality clients we so enjoy working for.

Speaking of which, here are a few comments from happy clients we have received recently.

"Good morning Jamie,
Thank you for sending Jay & Alfie...they are doing a splendid job as always"      Mrs Maskell, Offham, Kent.

"Dear Jamie, your guys did a brill job and exactly as required. They were also helpful and easy to speak to although they never stopped work. Thanks again and kind regards"      Mr Moss, Fawkham, Kent.

"Jamie, I meant to email you last Friday to thank you for an excellent job. I think the chestnut tree looks amazing and very sculptural!"      Mrs Webb-Wilson, Horton Kirby, Kent.



Lastly, back in May I was invited to write a series of four articles for a brand new monthly trade magazine for the Arboricultural Industry. ProArb is being launched in September and is a sister publication to the established Pro Landscaper magazine. I finished the first article this week and although you wouldn’t think so judging by my lack of blog activity lately, I really enjoy the writing process and am looking forward to seeing my first article in print!


Have a great weekend (and don’t forget to give your trees a little drink)

Jamie Saunders