City of Kelowna asks residents to water young neighbourhood trees

Help out thirsty trees

With an unprecedented drought hitting the Central Okanagan this spring, the City of Kelowna is asking residents to help out local thirsty trees.

Earlier this week, Agriculture Canada declared a “severe drought” in the Central Okanagan, and local flora may be having a tough time.

“We’re currently experiencing an unprecedented drought and not all of our trees are irrigated,” said Andrew Hunsberger, urban forestry supervisor with the City of Kelowna.

“We’re asking homeowners to help us care for the young trees planted on streets and boulevards near their homes. By working together to keep these trees healthy, we can all do our part to grow and nurture our urban tree canopy in Kelowna.”

Hunsberger says young trees need about a bucket of water every week for the first three years of their lives, before their roots extend deep enough in the ground.

“Water is a precious resource and we need to think carefully about how and when we use it,” said Hunsberger. “However, Kelowna’s tree canopy is also an incredibly important part of our city and will pay us back with shade that will reduce water use in the future.”

The city is asking residents to slowly release water at the base of young trees for at least 15 minutes one to two times per week, during cooler times of the day.

Hunsberger notes the city typically does not get enough rain to keep trees hydrated.

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