Tree Care in Times of Drought: Essential Tips for St. Augustine Landscapes

The natural ebbs and flows of Florida’s climate are well-known to St. Augustine residents, and periodic droughts are an inevitable part of living in our beautiful coastal environment. Even the hardiest of trees can struggle during times of water scarcity, with decreased vitality and an increased risk of disease and pest infestations. As responsible property owners and stewards of our landscape, we must understand how to care for trees during drought conditions and take proactive steps to safeguard their well-being.

In this informative blog post, we explore essential tips and best practices for maintaining healthy trees during periods of drought in St. Augustine. From adjusting watering strategies to engaging in proper tree care maintenance, we’ll cover a comprehensive range of topics designed to help you navigate through even the driest of spells. Our expert guidance will ensure that your trees continue to thrive during challenging weather conditions, preserving your landscape’s vitality and appeal.

Armed with this knowledge and our actionable insights, you’ll be well-equipped to manage periods of drought while minimizing the potential impact on your trees and ensuring their resilience for years to come. Whether you have recently planted saplings or are tending to a mature landscape, our expert advice will empower you to make informed decisions that promote healthy tree growth in every season.

1. Watering Wisely: Techniques for Effective Water Conservation

During periods of drought, one of the critical factors in keeping your trees healthy is providing them with enough water without being wasteful or misusing resources. Follow these watering techniques to strike the right balance:

  • Deep Watering: Practice deep watering, which encourages tree roots to extend deeper into the soil, providing them with greater access to moisture. Focus on slow application over an extended period, targeting the tree’s critical root zone.
  • Timing: Water your trees during the early morning or late evening, when temperatures are cooler and evaporation rates are lower, to maximize absorption and minimize waste.
  • Mulching: Apply organic mulch in a 2-4 inch layer around your trees, extending from the trunk to the drip line. Mulch helps the soil retain moisture, suppress weeds, and maintain a more consistent soil temperature.

2. Proper Pruning: Maintaining Tree Health in Drought Conditions

Drought conditions can weaken your trees and make them more susceptible to pests and diseases. Regular pruning helps maintain your trees’ health, particularly during dry periods, by:

  • Removing Dead or Damaged Branches: Dead or damaged branches can be entry points for pests and diseases. Prune them promptly to minimize the risk of further damage to your tree.
  • Promoting Air Circulation: Prune to create an open canopy, encouraging air circulation and reducing the risk of fungal infections and pest infestations.
  • Focusing on Seasonal Timing: Prune trees during their dormant period, when they are better equipped to handle the stress of pruning.

3. Choosing Drought-Tolerant Tree Species for St. Augustine Landscapes

If you are planting new trees or replacing ones that may not have fared well during a drought, consider choosing more drought-tolerant species. These species tend to have deep root systems, which enable them to access water even during periods of scarce rainfall. Some excellent drought-tolerant tree options for St. Augustine landscapes include:

  • Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana): Known for its large, spreading canopy and resilience, the live oak is a versatile and hardy drought-tolerant tree choice.
  • Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana): A tenacious evergreen species, the Eastern Red Cedar is known for its salt and drought tolerance, making it an attractive option for coastal landscapes in St. Augustine.
  • Sand Pine (Pinus clausa): A native Florida species, the sand pine thrives in sandy soils and dry conditions, offering a low-maintenance choice for drought-prone landscapes.

4. Strengthening Your Trees: Enhancing Resilience with Proper Care

In addition to watering and pruning, boosting your trees’ overall health is crucial when facing drought conditions. Take these steps to promote your trees’ resilience:

  • Soil Care: Ensuring healthy soil is paramount for a strong root system. Regularly test the soil and amend it accordingly, adding necessary nutrients to optimize tree health.
  • Pest and Disease Monitoring: Keep a watchful eye on your trees for any signs of pests or disease, and address issues promptly to curtail potential damage and promote overall vitality.
  • Supplemental Support: For mature trees that may require extra help during a drought, consider employing professional tree care services to install support systems like cabling or bracing and provide expert advice on watering and care strategies.


Periods of drought pose challenges for trees in St. Augustine landscapes, but with proper care and attention, it is possible to maintain healthy, thriving trees even in the harshest conditions. By employing smart watering techniques, pruning for optimal health, selecting drought-tolerant species, and proactively strengthening your trees, you will be well-prepared to navigate drought-related issues successfully.

When expert guidance is needed, look no further than Ancient City Arbor. Our experienced team can provide the advice and necessary tree care services to ensure that your trees remain healthy and vibrant, even during drought. Trust us to help you care for and protect your most prized natural assets so they can continue to enhance the beauty and value of your St. Augustine property for years to come.

Ancient City Arbor LLC
Ancient City Arbor LLC provides tree trimming in St. Augustine, FL. We use scientifically designed methods to ensure our customers a neat and precise result for a reasonable price tag. Call us now for appointments!

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2891 Race Track Rd
St. Augustine, FL 32084

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