Most people want their trees to grow fast and be healthy. Help them out by making sure their
roots aren’t drowning and that they have both air and water in the soil. Water standing in puddles or wet areas indicates that water has filled up the soil pores and driven out the air. Most trees and plants can take a few hours or days of that, but over time it will cause root death. You might not notice it right away, but root damage can make plants more susceptible to pests and disease, and can cause stunted growth, poor appearance and leaning or falling trees. And excess water can damage paving and foundations too.
After a storm is an easy time to check out your landscape drainage. Walk around and look for standing water, walk across lawns in low areas–you might not see water but you will know if you step on wet squishy grass! If you see water staining or moss on the paving you can bet you have a year round drainage/over-watering problem.
If you spot water, look again in 4-6 hours. If the excess water is gone you have normal drainage and no further action is needed.
But if most of the puddle is still there more than 24 hours later, improving your drainage will be good for your plants, foundation and paving.
How do you know what the problem is? Check for water leaks at your house; sometimes an irrigation valve doesn’t close properly and continuously oozes. Look for the lowest valve on each circuit. Check that your water system is shut off at this time of year. (As long as it’s raining every week, you don’t need to irrigate). Sometimes we see drainage coming from a neighbor’s yard; it could be that they have a problem but don’t even know it.
If you have poor drainage, how can you improve it? If you have drainage lines, check that they actually drain. Newer homes generally have drainage systems that cross the back yard and drain out near the sidewalk; often on both sides of the front yard. You can look to see if water is coming out of the outlets. Sometimes the drain lines are clogged and need clearing. You may need to add a drain line if you have swampy areas.
Some areas of Roseville have underground soil pans, hard layers of soil that block infiltration of water. These soil pans are usually not continuous and you might find one area always takes longer to drain. Digging a drainage trench down through the soil pan may improve the wet area. But over time the pan may reform. Adding a drainage line over the pan may help too. If this doesn’t improve the drainage, consider altering your landscape so that trees are planted in better drained areas.
Invest a little time on drainage inspection so your trees and landscape can grow and thrive!