Residents asked to help water trees suffering without rain
SHOREWOOD - Marti Marino isn't one to waste water.
But as another day without rain passes, she knows the trees in front of her house are desperate for a drink. So, she's letting the sprinkler run Friday afternoon.
It's so dry, the Village of Shorewood is asking resident's to help them water trees lining the streets.
"A general rule of thumb is that you want to provide about an inch of water a week," explains Leeann Butschlink, director of Public Works for the Village of Shorewood.
The village is especially concerned about younger trees. They plant around 100 new ones each year to replace those that have died.
And, it's not cheap.
"Our concern is that the street trees are a major investment for us. They provide intangible benefits to the neighborhood and residents," said Butschlink. "So we like to protect the investment that we made and we've asked residents to help us out."
With more than 6,200 trees within the village to care for, Butschlink says it's impossible for city officials to keep them all hydrated themselves during extremely dry times.
While we're technically not in a drought, Henry Beck says "tell that to the trees and shrubs."
He's a manager with Minor's Garden Center and says you can't afford to overlook your new trees and shrubs. In fact, they need water more than your grass.
"You can miss a couple of waterings and all of a sudden have a dead shrub or tree."
Deciduous trees -- those that lose their leaves seasonally -- need a good 15 minute watering a few times a week down to their roots.
For those trees that are more mature, Beck said they'll get plenty of water even if it's 5 to 10 feet away.
"It's always wise to mulch your shrubs and trees because that helps hold moisture in and helps keep them cooler."
And watering in the morning is the best bet.
If you water at night -- don't water the leaves of trees.
Beck says it produces fungi that can ultimately kill the trees you're trying to save.