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Abnormally dry conditions impact trees across Brazos County

Posted at 11:59 AM, Jun 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-29 12:59:22-04

BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — Trees are experiencing high stress due to drought-like conditions, impacting their life span regardless if it's an older or younger tree.

“I always say it’s tough to be a tree in Texas,” said Gretchen Riley, A&M forest service systems department head.

According to Riley, many trees are dying off.

”They’ve already had an accumulation of stress over time, and this is just kicking them in the bucket...we’re going to start seeing really the drooping leaves where they look wilted,” shared Riley.

During the Texas winter storm, trees were under high stress, and because of this many of them are now easily triggered.

”All of a sudden out in the woods overnight it seems like they’re now looking like big red flags,” said Riley.

But Riley says she hopes to help educate residents on the telling signs of trees screaming for help.

”They have less surface area to actually evaporate or respirate their water out of there so that one of the first signs someone can see,” she said.

The Texas A&M Forest Service Forest Drought Monitor is tracking abnormally dry conditions in Brazos County.

But Riley says thankfully numbers are tracking lower numbers compared to 2011- one of the worst drought years Texans experienced.

”You want two to three gallons per inch of diameter on that tree three times a week for two to three growing seasons,” Riley said.

Riley suggests residents who have recently planted trees and are seeking different ways to conserve water can try saving their excess water from their showers or during dish-washing.