We keep hearing that El Niño will be affecting weather patterns all across the western hemisphere this winter. In Ohio, the predictions are for a warmer, drier winter. While the prospect of a milder winter seems very appealing, there are definite implications beyond the weather. These simple changes in weather patterns can affect wildlife, plants, trees, and shrubs. Even those in your backyard.
What exactly is El Niño?
According to NOAA, “the term El Niño refers to the large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate interaction linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific.” Those increased temperatures can influence not only ocean conditions and marine life but also North American weather patterns at large.
How does warmer, drier weather affect my trees and shrubs?
- Less precipitation and warmer weather can cause loss of moisture in the soil.
- Plant species that normally go dormant may not stay dormant when temperatures are slightly elevated.
- Trees that “wake up” and start to photosynthesize can lose moisture and become dehydrated. Add the lack of soil moisture and you have an even bigger problem.
- Certain very sensitive species may not survive or may have branches die off.
What can I do?
Clearly, we have no control over the weather but you can certainly anticipate that your landscape plants, including your trees and shrubs will need an extra boost in the spring. At that time, you will want to consider:
- Watering all of your woody plants deeply and regularly to prevent further plant stress
- Regular plant health care visits to include a biostimulant fertilizer
- Regular Plant health care visits also includes a inspect and treatment for insects
The full extent of the effect of this year’s El Niño on the lawns and gardens of Ravenna, Kent, Aurora and Hudson are not yet known. Whether they will be minor or much more dramatic remains to be seen. What you can count on is that the experts at Portage Turf Specialists LLC will be available to assess your trees and help you determine the best course of action.
For naturally better lawn care in 2016, contact the experts at Portage Turf Specialists in Ravenna, Ohio, at (330) 296-8873 to get a quote or book a service. We’re here for all of your lawn care and maintenance needs in addition to tree and shrub maintenance.