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May 2011

By May 10, 2011No Comments
Drought and heat cause stress – find a watering method that works for you 

Today’s rain has given Austin’s trees some long awaited relief, but don’t let that keep you from watering in the weeks to follow. Austin, along with all of Texas, is still in extreme drought. Stress from drought and heat can cause limb dieback, increase vulnerability to insects and disease and contribute to tree decline. Apply 10-20 gallons of water once a week to trees that were planted in the last three years (unless it has rained at least one inch that week). Apply the water in a manner that allows it to soak in, not run off!  Established trees need water too; frequent and strong spring winds have increased water loss from evapotranspiration (moisture loss from soil evaporation and leaf transipiration).  Apply water at the drip-line for established trees. Water use restrictions are in effect for Austin, but you can still hand-water your trees any time. Apply mulch, it will help the soil retain moisture and insulate from the heat.

Photo: Retama (a tree you need not water at all) – Sally & Andy Wasowski, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Fast & easy hand-watering tips for young trees

Retama, Sally & Andy Wasowski, WFC

Invest in them – become a TreeFolks member today 

TreeFolks has a new and improved membership program for individuals and businesses. Individual members receive 20% discounts on TreeFolks classes and workshops. Businesses receive recognition on our website and collaboration opportunities. Help TreeFolks plant more trees and educate the public. We have inspired 20 years of tree hugging environmental awareness by leading thousands of volunteers at tree planting events in a park, school or greenbelt near you. We need your help to continue making an impact: become a contributing member, program sponsor or business member today!

Join TreeFolks online


Desert willow (Chilopsis linearis) 

After this week’s rain you may start to notice the lovely, trumpet-shaped flowers of Desert willows.  Despite it’s willow-like leaves, Desert willow is a member of the Trumpet-creeper family along with it’s relative, Southern catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides). By autumn, the flowers will be replaced by slender, 6-10” pods that contain feathery seeds. Desert willow is usually a small, bushy, multi-trunked tree, but can easily be pruned to a single trunk.  Desert willow is relatively fast growing and is happiest with infrequent watering, making it a water-wise choice for our climate. In nature, Desert willow grows in desert washes, making it ideally suited for rain gardens, drainage ditches and bio-swales. It also has great wildlife benefits – its flowers and seeds attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and birds and it is also a larval host for the white-winged moth.

Photo: Desert willow – Joseph A. Marcus, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Learn more about this tree

Desert Willow, Joseph A. Marcus WFC Image 14125

Tree I.D. Workshop – Saturday, June 25th, 9 – 11 am 

Please join us for a tree identification workshop that will begin at Austin City Hall and end along Lady Bird Lake. Participants will learn basic tree identification principles and practice identifying trees common to Central Texas. Workshop cost is $24 for members and $30 for non-members. Free parking at Austin City Hall garage, meet on the west steps.

Photo: Bald cypress – Philip Hawkins

Bald Cypress, Philip Hawkins

City seeks nominations for Austin’s 2011 Tree of the Year Award 

City seeks nominations for Austin’s 2011 Tree of the Year Award Body: The Tree of the Year award program celebrates beautiful, healthy trees in Austin as an example of the benefits of proper tree selection, care and placement. Tree of the Year was established to identify superior trees that are valuable and unique to this area. Each year, two trees are awarded the title of Tree of the Year, one a large shade tree and the other a small understory tree. Both trees are recognized at the annual fall event and will receive a plaque proclaiming their status as a 2011 Tree of the Year along with species information. In addition to the annual Tree of the Year award, special recognition for a Community Tree of the Year may be given. Your Community tree nomination should demonstrate how your tree supports, promotes and creates community. Nomination forms are accepted until June 30th.

Nominate your tree

Tree of the Year logo

Forestry partnerships recognized with proclamation at City Hall meeting 

TreeFolks thanks the offices of Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Council Member Randi Shade for honoring Austin’s tree champions. Council Member Shade read a proclamation recognizing organizations including TreeFolks who work to ensure Austin’s trees continue to be planted, maintained, and appreciated. Our reception on the Mayor’s Balcony honored retired Executive Director, Scott Harris and welcomed new Executive Director, April Thomas Rose. Thanks to all our friends who attended. It was a wonderful evening!

Special thanks to our event sponsors who made all the fun possible!


Leffingwell, Shade, Barkley, others 3

New $1000 Program Sponsor 

We are grateful to Tokyo Electron for supporting TreeFolks as a program sponsor. Their generous support helps us continue planting and caring for trees in Central Texas!

Learn more about TEL’s environmental and social activities


We appreciate everyone who helped raise funds for TreeFolks last month 

Thank you for shopping at Give 5 businesses on Earth Day, purchasing Banrock Station wine, and including Earth Share coupons in your basket @ HEB. The month of April provided many opportunities to support TreeFolks work. Thanks so much to the individuals and businesses who participated!

Top photo: Mexican plum – Josheph A. Marcus, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

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