Dormancy

    Drought / Underwatering

    drought

    Drought damage to maple (Robert L. Anderson, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org)

    drought damage

    Drought damage to pine (Robert L. Anderson, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org)

    drought damage

    Dieback of Japanese lilac caused by drought (William Fountain, University of Kentucky, Bugwood.org)

    Description

    Utah is a very dry state. Trees that are not adapted to drought conditions will be stressed without supplemental irrigation during the growing season. Drought stress will manifest as leaf wilt, leaf folding or rolling, leaf scorch, leaf yellowing, premature leaf drop or leaf death, and overall tree decline. Some drought symptoms are similar to salt damage, as salt reduces the ability of a plant to take up water.

    Management

    Properly identify the tree or plant species of concern and determine the particular water requirement needed. Typically, less frequent, deep watering within the root zone will provide better results. Frequent, shallow watering may not adequately penetrate the root zone, especially if competing turfgrass is present. For more information on watering trees and plants, see the Utah State University fact sheet Efficient Irrigation of Trees and Shrubs