Parks and Recreation Department Working to Save Trees During Drought

Parks and Recreation Department Working to Save Trees During Drought

The city is using mulch to prepare the city's trees for the dry and hot weather.

As we leave winter behind and quickly move into the hot and dry summer months, The City of Wichita Falls is doing all it can to protect and preserve the city's more than 20,000 trees from this continuing drought.
Jack Murphy, Director of Parks and Recreation Department, says the city has over 90 species of trees.
Over the last few years, Murphy says many of them have done pretty well in the dry conditions but without rain, many of these trees may be in trouble, especially if the city moves into stage four water restrictions.
Murphy says many of the trees across Wichita Falls are coming back to life after a cold winter.
He says the city is spreading fresh mulch around city trees to avoid some of the dangers related to the drought.
"The mulch is very important because it not only conserves moisture, the little rainfall and the drip irrigation that we give the trees but also the breakdown of the mulch, together with moisture, provides micro nutrients available for the tree which makes it even healthier," Murphy says/
Also, Murphy says the most efficient way to water the trees during stage three water restrictions is through drip irrigation but that will end if conditions get worse.
"If we ever do reach stage four, we'll be ahead of that situation by having mulch already spread around the trees to preserve the moisture we get," Murphy says.
He says they're hoping for the best but planning for the worst..
Murphy says, "Next few years, we'll tell how well we've been planning and maintaining our trees in the past but we expect to continue the good survival rate."
Murphy says if this drought continues, it will cause the parks and recreation Department to look at the current types of trees in city and at trees that may be able tolerate the dry conditions. 
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