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Hot weather advice

There are certainly some extremes of weather in the UK at the moment: while storms and flooding are occurring in the north, in the south there is a drought and heatwave. I am sure those of you who have planted trees and shrubs this year have been watering through a warm dry spring and on through the summer. Trees have been doing quite a bit of growing since spring and the conditions mean that they may well be showing some stress and even going into autumn early. Shallow rooted trees like birch particularly, can show 'heat stress' with some leaves turning yellow in late summer.

In the South East of England gardeners are being encouraged not to use hosepipes and we hope that wise use of watering cans and water butts mean that trees and shrubs can still be watered. 'Grey water' saved from baths and washing up can be used in the garden if necessary. Water butts may well be empty now but make sure you have some for future use when it rains!

Remember - watering early morning and evening is the most effective as there is less evaporation at these times. Some leaves 'droop' in the mid-day heat, don't automatically assume they need more water - they often perk up in the evening and morning with cooler conditions - it is possible to over water as well as under water - the symptoms are similar.

Do read our 'Guide to watering newly planted trees and shrubs' - we may well get some rain soon but it has to be steady and prolonged to soak in after a drought so do check the soil moisture as recommended in the guide.