How Does Hot Weather Affect Trees?

How Weather Can Adversely Affect Your Trees

Here at DR Trees Oregon City we frequently see dangerous effects to trees during the summer months. Due to global warming and other factors, many places are recording the highest temperatures in history or a long time. Additionally there is usually very less rainfall during this period. While most people are aware of how drought stress affects the trees when there is a drought, many people who have one or more tree in their property would like to find out How Hot Weather Affects Trees. They would like to know the changes in the trees when temperature increase especially during summer and what they can do to ensure that the trees flourish despite high temperatures.

Physical Changes In Trees

Tree owners should be aware that there is a decrease in photosynthesis rate when temperatures rise and this decrease is faster than the reduction is respiration. This results in an imbalance since the carbohydrates produced are used up faster. At higher temperature, more water evaporates through the stomate of the leaf to cool the tree through the transpiration, so more water has to be transported by the roots to the leaves, stem and branches. The membranes of the cells in the leaves are also unstable at higher temperatures, and ions may leak in the cell structure of the leaf.

Trees are like other plants and cope with temperatures which above normal with the formation of special proteins called heat shock proteins (HSPs). These proteins are also found humans, other animals and have the same function in all living organisms. They ensure that even at high temperatures, the proteins in the cells continue to function and are not damaged since this could adversely affect their integrity. The HSPs are formed automatically when temperatures increase, and help in stabilizing proteins so that cells continue to function. They also help to slow down the metabolic reactions whose rate would otherwise increase in hot weather, acidifying the cellular tissue and causing imbalances in metabolic products.

Calcium Is Key

Calcium is also important for helping the tree adapt to the stress due to rising temperatures. It helps to stabilize the cell membranes in leaves and other parts, modulate the activity of the enzymes in the tree. Often physical changes are observed to adapt to high temperatures. More leaf waxes and hairs are formed on the leaves. The leaf morphology or orientation may change to reduce the amount of light which is intercepted by the leaves. Often the leaves of some plants are wilting during the day, and some trees may shed their leaves.

It is possible to prepare a tree to handle heat stress and the method of preparing the tree is similar to other plants. The tree should be planted in fertile soil of high quality and the soil fertility should be managed. The tree should irrigated properly so that it receives enough water. It is also advisable to sample the soil to check the amount of calcium, other nutrients in the soil and other physical properties of the soil. This will help in using the right type of fertilizers to improve the soil for the tree and help the tree flourish in all weather conditions including hot weather.

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