Drought-tolerant trees are trees that don’t require a lot of water to survive. They can withstand severe drought conditions and still thrive, making them the perfect choice for areas with limited rainfall.
Since almost any location may experience less rainfall than usual, it’s important to know how to select drought-tolerant trees for your landscape. Otherwise, your trees may die, and you may need tree removal in Marietta by SoutheastTree arborists.
What Makes Drought-Tolerant Trees Different from Other Trees?
To pick drought-tolerant trees, it is essential to know what makes them different from other trees.
While many species can withstand dry spells without supplemental watering, drought-tolerant trees share certain characteristics.
Three main factors determine whether a tree is drought-tolerant:
Large Root Systems
These tough trees have large root systems that reach deep into the soil and help them take up water more quickly than shallow-rooted trees during drought.
Their waxy leaves protect them from drying out during hot weather and reduce transpiration (the process by which plants lose moisture through their leaves).
Drought-tolerant trees have thick barks that protect the cambium layer, where nutrients flow up from roots and down from leaves in healthy plants. This bark can also prevent wind damage from breaking apart during storms.
Drought-tolerant trees will likely exhibit one or more of these features. Some examples of drought-resistant trees include:
- Acacia trees
- Bay trees
- Cassia trees
- Crepe Myrtles
- Geiger trees
- Stopper trees
- Tabebuia trees
How to Pick Drought-Tolerant Trees for Your Area
To help you out, we’ve put together this list of tips and tricks to consider when selecting drought-tolerant trees for your landscape.
1. Check the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is an excellent tool for determining what types of native trees will thrive in your area. They base it on an area’s average annual minimum temperature and tell you which plants will survive the winter in your climate zone.
2. Choose Plants That Are Native to Your Region
Plants that are native to your region are more likely to be able to adapt to the local environment than plants that aren’t native. As such, they’ll be less likely to suffer from prolonged dry spells or other water-related issues. Native plants are also more resistant to pests and diseases than non-native ones.
3. Choose Trees with Deep, Upright Crowns
Look for trees with deep, upright, multi-layered crowns. These trees use water more efficiently than those with flatter, wider crowns.
4. Choose Varieties Bred for Drought Resistance
You can also look for tree varieties bred for drought resistance.
For example, the Chinese elm (Ulmus parvifolia) loses its leaves when it gets too dry to conserve water; this tree is also resistant to Dutch Elm Disease and can grow in partial shade.
The Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) has been bred for its compact growth habit and tolerance to drought conditions; some varieties even have variegated leaves that change color as they age.
5. Choose Trees with Smaller Leaves
Trees with smaller leaves cool more efficiently than those with larger leaves. So, if you’re looking for a drought-tolerant tree with smaller leaves, elm and linden are good choices.
Planting drought-tolerant trees is a great way to conserve water. Our tree care experts at Southeast Tree are ready to give you all the advice you need.
Our experts can give you tips to ensure your drought-tolerant trees thrive. For example, we can help you know more about the bad tree bugs to be on the lookout for and other valuable tips.
Contact us at (770) 977-8733 for a free consultation.