Drought causing stress on local trees

With this summer being one of the driest on record in recent memory, the lack of rainfall could have long-term effects on the city’s trees.

With this summer being one of the driest on record in recent memory, the lack of rainfall could have long-term effects on the city’s trees, says a local arborist.

Rob Hughes, supervisor of parks operations with the City of Victoria, said this is the worst season for drought stress on trees in the 30 years he has worked in Greater Victoria.

“As far as mature trees on the boulevards, certainly we’re seeing what’s being seen throughout the lower Island, just drought stress that’s visible on the leaves,” Hughes said. “If you go down most streets in Victoria now, we’re seeing some early desiccation of the leaves, so early fall colour and leaves are starting to drop. They’re most noticeable on the ground.”

He said the trees that have been most affected by the drought are birches, beech trees, katsura, and evergreens like the western red cedar that require a higher moisture content in their soil and can’t stand long periods of drought.

According to Environment Canada meteorologist Matt MacDonald, Victoria is having an exceptionally warm and dry summer.

“It’s the driest June, July, August on record. We’ve only seen 16.4 millimeters this year and that explains the extreme drought,” said MacDonald.

From Aug. 1 to 25, Victoria has seen 1 mm of rain, making it the fifth driest August on record with a mean temperature of 18 C.

But that is expected to change with a storm set to hit Victoria bringing an estimated 40 to 60 mm of rain over the weekend.

While the city can’t do much for mature trees, it has increased the number of tanker trucks used to water the newly-planted trees. They currently have four tanker trucks along with a fifth that works part-time.

But Hughes said the drought could have long-term effects on trees, especially in the spring when they start to leaf out again.

“There may be an increase in the next few years of trees showing signs of being infected with decay pathogens,” Hughes said.

“We’re able to fill up our tanker trucks with CRD water and go around and water our newly-planted trees. It’s all dependant on weather and hopefully with the forecast for this weekend, we do get some.”

 

 

Just Posted

UVic hosts community gathering following death of two students

Campus community invited to reflect, support one another

Victoria police arrest man at gunpoint for allegedly assaulting two people with a knife

The man was arrested Monday night after in incident in the 900-block of Pandora Ave.

Judge quashes Victoria man’s appeal of 90 day weekend sentence for trafficking meth

Godofredo Narboneta Ruiz was the owner, driver of vehicle used to transport the drugs

Reynolds Secondary principal pens letter to parents after student involved in fatal crash

Various supports available to students, staff and community

Community comes together for World Rivers Day at Rock Bay Creek

Rock Bay Creek Revival celebrating watersheds.

WATCH: United Way #Drive4Five event launches campaign to raise $5 million

More than 80,000 lives changed last year by the United Way

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Vancouver Island man bikes through B.C. Interior for mental health, addiction awareness

Vancouver Island Resident Mat Fee is approaching the final phase of his cross-Canada bike journey to raise awareness about addiction recovery.

Boy overdosed on illicit anti-anxiety drug found on Kelowna classroom floor, RCMP say

Noah Mills, 8, ingested a pink powdery substance off his Kelowna classroom floor

BC SPCA investigating after three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Psychiatric assessment ordered for man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting

Lawyer tells court accused was diagnosed with psychosis hours after his arrest

Most Read