Protect Trees In Extreme Heat

With the arrival of summer and warmer temperatures, properly watering your trees is a great way to keep them healthy and stress-free. Since extended hot, dry weather can stress your trees, just a little extra care will provide the relief needed to prevent drought damage and keep your trees healthy. 

“Our trees provide shade for our neighborhoods, clean our air and water, and enhance the quality of life for all of us,” said Vancouver Urban Forster Charles Ray. “Please help preserve and protect this important community feature by watering your trees during hot, dry summer months. 

To keep trees happy and thriving this summer, mulch around the base of trees and water regularly. Newly planted and young trees need 10-15 gallons of water once per week during the summer months. Older trees may need extra water monthly during a hot, dry summer, too. How much water your tree should receive depends on the tree's size. A general rule of thumb is to use approximately 10 gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter each time you water.

Water slowly, dispersing the flow of water to get deep down to trees’ roots. Watering for short periods will encourage shallow rooting, which can lead to more drought damage. 

Here are some options to prevent wasteful runoff and ensure deep watering: Turn a hose on low for 15 minutes at the base of the tree, fill five-gallon buckets with holes in the bottom at the base of the tree, or install a slow-release watering bag.

To reduce evaporation, mulch your tree and water in the morning. Bark chips make good mulch, using the 3-3-3 rule: three inches of mulch in a three-foot ring with a three-inch space around the tree trunk.

The City of Vancouver is proud to have been recognized as a “Tree City USA” for the past 35 years. As a regional climate leader, the City is committed to improving the health of our natural systems, maintaining and increasing our community’s tree canopy, and enhancing community health and quality of life. 

For questions and a list of tree care tips, visit the Vancouver urban forestry webpage at or call 360-487-8332.

Source: City of Vancouver

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