Area trees are showing signs of the continuing drought.

Drought Impact

Area trees appear to be impacted by the ongoing drought. Some may be dying, others are going into early dormancy, according to local experts.

“We are aware that trees in St. Helens are starting to show significant signs of stress, likely due to several years of chronic drought and repeated excessive heat events,” St. Helens Communication Officer Crystal King told The Chronicle.

The City of St. Helens has been working with contracted arborists to address tree concerns as they become aware of issues, according to King.

“The St. Helens Parks and Recreation Division is currently working on a plan to assess the health of trees on city-owned property and take needed action before the arrival of fall and winter weather.”

"If it is Oregon white oak, they take an early dive into dormancy and don't come back until next spring leaf-out,"  Oregon State University Extension Service agent Chip Bubl said. "They do look dead but several years ago, myself and a colleague tagged a bunch of these "dead" white oaks to see if they came back. Basically, they all did. Growing on basalt, our oaks are very adapted to extreme dry conditions."

Read more in Bubl’s Garden Plots column on Page A4 of the Aug. 25 print edition of The Chronicle.

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