Heat wave, drought poses threat to trees across Houston

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BySteve Campion KTRK logo
Tuesday, August 11, 2015

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Around Memorial Park in Houston, visitors remember the devastating results of a drought in 2011. City crews were forced to cut down thousands of trees in the beautiful park because the older plants could not deal with the lack of rain.

Fast forward four years, and Houston faces similar challenges despite record rain fall in May and June.

Joe Turner is the city's director of parks and recreation. Turner told Eyewitness News they take the threat of a drought very seriously. Turner revealed the department currently uses five irrigation trucks to water some 5,000 trees across the Bayou City. The department is bringing three more trucks online to address the growing concern.

"Who would have ever thought in May we'd be dealing with watering issues in August," said Turner. "I guess the hardest part is watching the 7 day weather forecast and not seeing any rain."

Turner said all the new trees planted at the park need about two years of consistent watering to take root, so it's vital to make sure they're watered during the extreme heat.

According to park managers, the number of trees in Memorial Park now exceed the number in 2010 thanks to massive restoration efforts.