Urban Soils: Correcting Low Soil Moisture

urban tree
Photo Credit: Raina Sheridan

Lack of moisture in the soil is as harmful as too much water. Low soil moisture can be caused by high temperature, drought, high salt content, sandy soils, and improperly timed irrigation systems. Impervious surfaces can also prevent water from entering the soil.

Signs that low soil moisture may be a problem include:

  • browning leaf edges
  • dry soil

Properly timed irrigation systems, watering during drought periods, and mulching can all help prevent tree health problems caused by low soil moisture. Remember, once a tree has reached a permanent wilting point from lack of water, it will be in a state of decline.

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By:  Ed Macie, Regional Urban Forester, USFS Southern Region