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Maintaining plants in the Brazos Valley amid drought conditions: Report

Posted at 1:56 PM, Aug 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-09 21:58:37-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — We're seeing extreme drought conditions in Texas, creating harsh environments for trees and plants to survive.

With Brazos Valley seeing little rainfall in the past few months, this has truly been a rougher season for many farmers and gardeners.

Now, we're learning from Texas A&M Forest Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension about how we can revive the greenery around us.

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, 99 percent of Texas is under drought conditions.

Karl Flocke with Texas A&M Forest Service says this is the worst drought we have seen in a while.

“We’re currently experiencing the worst drought in over a decade,” said Karl Flocke, Woodland Ecologist, Texas A&M Forest Service. “The drought is only intensifying and it’s also getting hotter and that’s really having an impact that we’re starting to see on our trees, not in our yards and our landscape.”

Flocke says to pay attention to the greenery around us for signs of distress.

“Look for signs of stress in the trees,” said Flocke. “Again, leaves turning yellow, falling off, forming poorly, curling up, turning brown. Those could be signs of a tree in distress.”

Chadd Caperton with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension says it’s all about maintenance.

“We don’t want to water of seeing more growth or production,” said Chadd Caperton, Ag & Natural Resources Agent, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. “We want to water with the goal of just trying to maintain and keep things healthy enough to get us to our next rain event.”

Sharon Banister is a gardener and says she gives her plants and trees just enough water by rotating the usage of her sprinkler system.

“I’m laying hose down instead of using a sprinkler,” said Sharon Banister, Gardener. “Use a sprinkler, so much of it evaporates, this way I set it down, it run 10 to 15 minutes and I move it to another location and eventually, get all the way around.”

Banister says she’s hoping for some natural water resources like rainfall.

“We need it to really give us a good deep rain and we have not had that in several months, and even here, I’ve gotten maybe five minutes at a time if I’ve gotten anything at all and it is gone,” said Banister.

Flocke says we should try and find balance when using our water supply, especially with water conservation requests in place.

“We really need to strike a balance between taking care of trees that are very important in our environment, very important in cooling down our houses and providing really important services to us but also conserving that water so it’s available for other uses,” said Flocke.

Flocke says being mindful of our water usage can help in other areas, like firefighters when putting out wildfires and not being afraid of running out of resources.