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Heat Killing Even Drought-Resistant Plants

Heat Killing Even Drought-Resistant Plants

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Stacey Butler ReportingIn this scorching stretch of July, what is supposed to be green, is quickly turning brown and brittle under a relentless attack of searing summer heat. We're in the middle of one of the longest and most intense heat waves in Utah history, and the damage is starting to show up in our shrubs, trees and garden plants.

Botanical experts say there are some things we can do to help, but not much. Even a good root system on a 50-year old Spruce tree is only about two feet deep. That means they need more water than you might think to avoid getting scorched.

In what is so far the second hottest July on record plants, trees, shrubs, bedding plants, even evergreens like the state tree--the Colorado Spruce--are taking the heat.

Broad-leafed evergreens and evergreen shrubs can't draw enough moisture and cool themselves down. So, combine drought with unusually high temperatures and the leaves of otherwise drought resistant plants are literally scorched.

In Southeastern Utah stands of evergreens have dried up creating the perfect environment for beetles. And right in Holladay, the dreaded bark beetle is also thriving in the bark of drought stricken aspens. But experts say aspens as well as a number of spruces are indigenous to the mountains and should stay there.

A word from the wise -- call your local nursery or contact the Utah Botanical Center before you plant.

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