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In the meantime (05/11/2020)  there has been rainfall, but this does not change the situation!
How to save your larger trees

We are currently in a drought situation that has never existed in our region since weather records began in the 19th century. Above all, what is new is that the drought is now extending to great depths of around 2 meters and more (source: drought monitor of the Environmental Research Center Halle-Leipzig). Of all the federal states, Saxony - and especially the Meissen-Coswig-Radebeul region - is the hardest hit. Even now, immediately after the trees have started to sprout in spring, there are signs of drought damage, some of which is considerable. However, some others will only become clearly visible later in the year. Unfortunately, to the dismay of many house and garden owners, it is currently also affecting trees that are many years or decades old and have never shown weakness. In the past, however, these long-established trees did not have any major water supply problems, since it rained more often and the roots were still able to reach the groundwater level. However, since around 2013, the groundwater level has been dropping continuously in our country. As a result, even the deepest roots of many large trees can no longer reach the precious water in many places. Numerous trees can no longer cope with the extraordinary situation and have already fallen victim or have dried up. In our article, however, we are primarily concerned with those trees that are also on the verge of dying without our help, but can often still be saved with relatively little effort.
Saving larger trees, how is that supposed to work? Last year, in a kind of experiment, we started a first rescue attempt on large trees (spruces, sequoias and fruit trees). The success achieved encouraged us to continue on this path and to convey the experiences made to other affected citizens. 
Now to the procedure. Remove all vegetation in a circle around the trunk area, but above all, if there is any, the lawn. Consider removing a small layer of soil to create a slight indentation, but be careful not to damage existing roots. Then create a sufficiently high casting ring, as is generally the case when new trees are planted (see photo). Then start watering, preferably with a watering can, with a little water at first. The very dry soil is only able to optimally absorb the irrigation water after some moistening time. If possible, water more intensively later. If available, it is best to use rainwater for this purpose. Delayed over days, higher watering should definitely be continued. Then the water hose can also do a good job. Keep in mind that with the current drought, the water in the ground under the tree really needs to penetrate deep to have a greater and possibly longer-lasting effect. This problem does not exist with smaller trees, as far less watering is sufficient. After completing the action, mulch the soil inside the casting ring. Of course, other causes can also lead to the death of trees. Ultimately, only an expert can assess what causes played a role.
One more thing about the weather. Surely it will rain more or less here and there in the near future. In these cases, however, do not allow yourself to be dissuaded from the watering project described above. Because the pronounced deep drought is very likely to continue for a long time. An end would only be foreseeable with long-lasting and heavy rainfall in the coming winter (groundwater formation is usually only to be expected at this time of the year). However, heavier summer precipitation can temporarily significantly reduce overall drought stress for all plants. Not only we garden owners are waiting for this rainfall, but especially forestry and agriculture. 
Finally, a note on climate change in Saxony. Our climate forecasts up to the end of the 21st century show without a doubt that we have to reckon with ever warmer and drier conditions in summer. However, it is not to be expected that this momentary drought will simply continue over the next few years. However, it is also more than surprising for all experts that we have been struggling with this for almost two and a half years without interruption. It really is a more than extraordinary situation. In this respect, we all hope for the end of this extremely long-lasting low-rainfall episode and remain optimistic that it will soon be a thing of the past.
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