Industry News: Tree Appraisal

Q: Is it possible for birch trees to die from drought in 4 months if watered 3 times a week??

Thursday, December 31, 2015  

Q: I have three mature birch trees that have recently died. I live in Southern California, and we are obviously in our most severe drought to date. The trees are located on a part of the lawn that only gets watered two or three times per week because of water restrictions. Is it possible for the trees to die from drought in two to four months? I am in an argument with my landlord who is claiming that I killed the trees by not watering enough in a four-month period, in the middle of which we had a giant rainstorm for two days.

A: There are many dead birch trees in Southern California these days, especially on lawns. Birch are also subject to a number of pests and diseases. Without any other factors, it seems the trees should have survived the two two-month dry spells, assuming it had good moisture before then. It would be difficult if not impossible to do an adequate diagnosis without having direct access to the tree. I suggest you contact a Registered Consulting Arborist in your area for that service. Thank you for contacting ASCA.


Responder: Gregory Applegate, RCA #365, Tustin, CA