East Texans need to take extra measures to protect plants, property because of dry conditions

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The hot temperatures and lack of rain have brought drought conditions across our viewing area, leading officials to urge caution during this time.

East Texas News found out some ways people can protect their plants and property during the summer months.

When you step outside, it doesn't take long to realize how hot it is.

"This two week stretch of the month is usually the hottest part of the year," said Brad Hlozek, KTRE News' chief meteorologist.

As a result, it's no surprise that two more East Texas counties added their name to the burn ban list today. While counties take steps to protect the wooded areas from disastrous fire, there are also steps homeowners can take to protect their plant life.

"Green-colored does not mean the tree or the surrounding environment is not very easy to start a fire," said Cary Sims, Angelina County's ag extension agent. "We always need to be careful with our burn piles or trash piles."

The easiest way to help your plant life is good old H2O.

But, how much water do you need?

The agriculture extension office says the recommended water rations for plants are 28 gallons for a small tree, 56 gallons for a medium tree, and 112 gallons for a tree over three years old.

It seems like a lot, but it is pretty simple. The easiest way to do this is a water hose with a slow water flow, but there are more advance ways.

"With this drip irrigation system because it feeds right to the roots, said Richard Campbell, the president of the Angelina Master Gardeners. "As you can see it drips. It is not a steady stream, it is a drip irrigation."

If you're worried that this is an expensive way to go, don't worry. There are a lot of inexpensive kits that hook directly onto a water hose.

The kits come easy to install and are inexpensive, and experts say it is money well spent.

"It's like they say, to replace a big tree is expensive and takes a lot of time to watch a little one grow to replace it," Campbell said.

Watering plants doesn't just benefit bushes and trees; it provides added safety for the homes nearby.

Now officials want to remind people that just because your county may not be under a burn ban, it is still good in the summer to burn as little as possible.

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