Tree Commission urges care for trees and shrubs

July 17, 2012 09:13 AM
During drought conditions, the Galesburg Tree Commission urges residents to water trees and shrubs to ensure continued good health. Even established trees and shrubs can be stressed during long periods of extreme heat and dry weather. Done properly, a bi-weekly watering schedule is all it takes to ensure optimum benefit for established trees.  
Gary Johnson, city Arborist, recommends at least one inch of water every week to 10 days for mature trees and shrubs letting the top few inches of soil dry out between watering to avoid saturation and allow roots and soil organisms to breathe. He also suggests watering early in the day to avoid evaporation of the water. "Young trees will take a bit more effort. It's especially important to keep them watered during a period of very hot, dry days. Watering them every other day with just a trickle of water for several hours at a time is recommended. And of course, fertilizer should not be used at all during drought," advises Johnson. The University of Illinois Extension website ( also provides tips for proper watering of trees and shrubs.
Galesburg is a Tree City USA community as recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation. Trees are an important part of a community's fabric and add greatly to the quality of life. They provide shade and wind control, enhance the air quality, provide animal habitat and reduce noise pollution not to mention increase property values and provide an aesthetically pleasing backdrop. Losing a mature tree unnecessarily because of drought can be devastating to the landscape. The abundance of water for Galesburg residents makes the decision to water trees and shrubs easier. Moreover, when using guidelines provided by the local Extension office or other horticulture expert, it does not have to be a burden on time or financial resources.
Taking care of trees and shrubs during drought conditions will help ensure years of continued shade.
City Arborist Gary Johnson (left) assists in planting a tree in Bateman Park during Arbor Day this year. Galesburg Tree Commission members and Churchill students participate.


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