I've been hearing conflicting advice on whether to water established trees in a dry period, like we are experiencing in Montgomery County. Should we be looking for signs of distress before we water, or is that too late? Any advice would be appreciated.
Hi - Our area is in a "flash drought" period right now and you should water established trees and shrubs that are important to you. In general, it is good to keep an eye on the weather conditions and how they are affecting your plants. Don't wait until symptoms are severe. Some initial signs of water-deficit stress in plants are wilting, yellowing, early fall color, and/or browning leaf tips (scorching). Please refer to our page about drought conditions. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/drought-conditions
Here are our watering tips for drought conditions.