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We all have our own story of memories from the last couple of years’ freezes, and our trees bear the memories on their limbs. We might remember looking around at an icescape, seeing newly budding branches frozen in time, waiting and wondering to see which of our tree friends would make it through once all was thawed. 

For TreeFolks Development Coordinator Annie Burke, the past few years’ weather woes have inspired a deeper appreciation for Austin’s trees. On walks around town and in the greenbelt, she pauses a little longer to sniff magnolia flowers and makes sure to walk on the shady side every chance she gets.

Frozen tree from the February 2023 Freeze Our trees will continue to face challenges, whether it’s hot summers, droughts, ice storms, or other severe weather events.  You can work with TreeFolks to restore healthy tree canopy and keep our Austin trees resilient and strong with proper tree care, especially during the upcoming summer months. We know that well-maintained trees under minimal stress have the best chance of weathering these severe events when they happen. 

Check out our arborist-approved tips below to keep your trees happy:

  • WATERING: Trees need 15-20 gallons of water every 7-10 days, year-round for at least 2 years. Water at the drip line where rain would naturally fall. Leave a hose on a low stream for 15 minutes for 15-20 gallons.
  • MULCHING: Build a 4″ tall mulch ring 2-3 feet around the tree. Avoid volcano mulching by keeping the mulch at least 3 inches from the trunk. Mulch keeps the soil moist, protects the tree, and adds nutrients.
  • WEEDING: Keep 18″ around the trunk free of plants and grass. Lawnmowers and weed whackers are the leading cause of urban tree death so remove them by hand.
  • VOLUNTEERING: to plant trees during planting season, which runs from October to March. Keep your eyes peeled for events this fall!
  • DONATING: to TreeFolks! We are dedicated to protecting and maintaining Austin’s urban canopy and we can’t do it without your help. Your donation supports us to continue offering resources to help our trees thrive.
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Annie Burke, our Development Coordinator, wrote this article. Annie is a born and raised Central Texan who loves finding the perfect shady spot to sit under. Benjamin Bertram, our Program Director, contributed tree care tips for this article