City worried about trees in extreme heat

Officials ask community to water greenery

The intense dry weather is posing such a threat to greenery that the city of Madison is working overtime to save some of its newly planted trees.

Over the past year, the city has planted about 1,000 new trees, totaling upwards of $180,000.

City officials said the last thing they want is for that investment to wilt away.

“Getting less than an inch (of rain) for the whole month of June, we’ve had to keep crews out here continually,” said Dean Kahl, forestry operations supervisor for the city of Madison. “(We’re) spending basically more time in June watering trees than the last two years combined at this point.”

Linda Barcz from the Bruce Company said with this weather, it seems more people are worried about their brown lawns than their trees.

Barcz said this is a big problem because the first five years of a tree’s life in the ground are the most important for its development.


“We’ve had very little snow, lack of snow, no rain in April, and now this extended period in these high temperatures all add up to real problems,” Barcz said.

To save this greenery, Barcz recommended products to reach a tree’s roots, for example, a watering stake that delivers water to the tree underground.

A pencil-thin stream of water from a hose should do the job as well, Barcz added.

City parks leaders said they appreciate homeowners helping out their watering crews.

Some locals have even posted signs that they’ve already watered city trees.

Crews are battling the heat while trying to douse all 1,000 of the infant trees every week, so every little bit of help makes a big difference.

“The trees in the front of their house, the trees that are across the street, the trees that are nearby in their parks — anywhere where you have easy access to water and can put at least 10 gallons of water down for each one of those trees on a weekly basis,” said Dean Kahl of Madison Forestry Operations.

The city said if community members are able to help, they should worry about the trees near the sidewalks and in parks, not the trees that are in medians.

They said water all trees, not just newly planted ones, as the heat can also damage more mature trees.