How to Care for Heat-Stressed Trees?

Summer is quickly approaching, and with experts predicting that the warmer months will soon become hotter and drier than ever, it’s only natural to worry about how all of your garden trees will cope.

While some trees will cope with intense heat without any issues, the majority will struggle, resulting in heat stress. This manifests in a few different ways; wilting, leaf and blossom drop and rot are just a few of the problems that you could find yourself dealing with if you ignore the initial cry for help that your trees send out.

So, as soon as you start to notice heat stress in your garden trees, here’s what you should be doing to give them a helping hand.


Give Your Trees a Deep Soak

Some trees, especially succulents like the Tree Aloe, tolerate drought-like conditions very well. They’re able to store large amounts of moisture in their fleshy leaves, which they can then turn to during hot, dry spells.

However, chances are that the majority of the trees in your garden aren’t succulents, meaning that the first thing you should do to combat heat stress is to give them a deep watering. If your trees are mature and prefer dry conditions, then don’t overdo it – a deep watering every few days is much more beneficial than daily shallow watering.

That said, if your trees have been newly-planted, they’ll need a lot more moisture, to the point where you may need to water them daily, or even twice a day. Ideally, try to do this either early in the morning or in the evening, to prevent moisture loss through evaporation.


Mulch Your Garden Trees

Once you’ve given your trees a deep watering, lay a mulch around them. This is another great way to prevent water from evaporating away from your trees – the mulch will trap the moisture in, allowing your trees to soak up what they need when they need it.


Give Your Trees Some Shade

This one is a little trickier, especially if you have large trees. However, no matter its size, any tree experiencing heat stress will appreciate a little shade. There are a few ways that you can do this, with shade cloth being the easiest. This is available in different thicknesses – you’ll find some shade cloths block out just 20% of the sun, while others can shield a tree from 100% of the sun’s rays. Try to go with something in the middle – while excess heat will stunt growth, so will excess shade, especially for sun-loving trees like citrus varieties.

If you have potted trees, then life becomes much easier. Simply move these to a shadier spot, even if that may be under the canopy of a larger tree.


Harvest All Fruits

If you’re growing fruit trees, then now is the time to pick those fruits, even if they haven’t ripened. During times of heat stress, you want your trees to focus all of their energy on surviving their difficult conditions, rather than putting that precious energy towards growing and ripening fruit.

So, to encourage this, pick any fruits or pods that your trees have produced. Just this small action should soon have your trees bouncing back to good health again.



Heat stress can really take its toll on garden trees, to the point where those that have been badly affected may struggle to recover. Fortunately, so long as you recognise the signs early enough, you’ll be able to take the necessary steps to prevent damage and keep your trees as healthy as possible.


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