Tall City Trees Dying Under Sun

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - The harsh glare of the sun has been drying up the water and is now drying up plant life, putting the sturdiest of trees at risk.

"All the plants, grass, especially the trees and everything are under stress," City of Midland Urban Forester, Randy Myers, said. "It is a dire situation. Usually the leaves will start curling up and it'll start losing its color. It may go gray or start to go brown."

With no measurable rainfall since last Fall, the wear and tear on trees can be easily seen.

Myers pointed out pine trees that should be green but are now yellowing.

He told NewsWest 9 that unless proper care is given to the Tall City's trees, many of them will die by 2013.

"I predict over the next two or three years that the tree care people will be making a lot of money taking out trees," Myers said.

But city officials are hosting a free public seminar next Saturday, July 23rd at Sibley Nature Center in Midland from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. to help show people how best to water their trees in this extreme drought.

Officials stress that fertilizers require water to aid the trees and that it will just burn up in this drought.

They said water and mulch are the way to go.

"What we're trying to do is get people to mulch and you mulch from the trunk of the tree all the way out to the drip line," Myers said. "If water drips off the ends of the branches, it's there, and that's the area that you water, from the trunk to the drip line."

The City of Midland hosted two tree seminars earlier this year with a combined turnout of 200 people.

So many questions are pouring into them still that they're now putting on this third one.

"They know that their trees have value for shade, for refuge for animals and they want to be sure to take care of them," Keep Midland Beautiful Executive Director, Doreen Womack, said.

Another feature of the seminars will be that tree care experts will be on hand to identify your tree's problems if you bring them a leaf or a photo.

"Try to help you out with 'It's too much water', 'It's not enough water', whatever the case may be," Womack said. "We encourage people who attend the session on the 23rd to bring those photos or those leaves in."

West Texans are encouraged to attend the seminar and arm themselves with the knowledge of how to make sure Midland's trees stay rooted where they are.