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Area's trees in dire need of water due to drought

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news Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Enterprise
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Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

Lack of rain has left the area's trees in dire need of water.

"We're in a terrible drought situation and it would be beneficial for people to keep watering their trees once a week until it freezes," said Cheryl Wilke, with Flying W Gardens. "The trees are wilting and they are stressed."

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She attended a Park Rapids Urban Forestry Committee meeting Thursday morning and expressed her concerns, especially for boulevard trees in the city.

"Those boulevard trees are only watered the first two years after they're planted," she said. "But they need water. They're dying.

Christine Jessen, with Forest and Floral, reiterated Wilke's comments.

"We have a month to a month and a half to keep watering these trees so we don't have a huge loss," she said.

She's noticed the trees look dehydrated and dull.

Both women recommended watering trees slowly so the water doesn't run off. Trees should be watered to the drip line, meaning not just at the trunk, but the roots as well, Wilke said.

"They need a good saturation before winter comes," Wilke added.

Another concern is that this winter won't have much snow cover so trees will be dry next spring as well.

"The prediction is similar to last winter and that's not good news for trees," she said.

The city is discussing among staff what it can do. City planner Dan Walker said he is working with Public Works director Scott Burlingame to see if staff can take time to water the city's trees.

"It's a little slower time of year so maybe we can find some staff to get out there and water," Walker said.

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Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561
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