Drowning, or the inhalation of liquid, is a terrible thing. But it's not as though a lifeform really needs the ability to inhale in order to drown. Trees need water in order to live, but if there's too much water, your trees can, in a manner of speaking, drown. This is not generally as straightforward as an overly enthusiastic gardener watering their trees too much either (although this behaviour can certainly play a role in a tree's drowning). How can you know if your trees are drowning? And how can you rescue them?


You might not be entirely in control of how much water your trees receive. There's nothing you can do about how much it rains outside. While trees don't have lungs in the traditional sense, they still have a vascular system, which is regulated by their root system. If there is too much moisture trapped around that root system, your trees can essentially begin to drown. 


Sometimes this excessive water is going to be blindingly (or damply) obvious. In extreme weather, or even prolonged rainfall, you will know that your trees will be receiving a hefty dose of hydration. Some trees respond better to this than others (as some trees are flood-tolerant). Other trees can demonstrate their intolerance to this level of hydration via chlorosis, which is when the leaves become discoloured and the foliage begins to droop. Excessively saturated soil will reduce the amount of oxygen ingrained in the soil, which is necessary for the tree's roots system. Although there is an abundance of nutrients and moisture in the soil, if they become saturated and are unable to recover, the tree's roots cannot effectively operate and take in the necessary moisture and nutrients.


If you're concerned about the amount of water your trees have received due to an extreme weather event or if the tree is exhibiting signs of chlorosis, then some basic tree care is necessary. The root system needs to be aerated to encourage drainage. Some trees can benefit from a partial excavation of their root system, with the strategic placement of gravel around the roots, which is then buried. This promotes drainage and prevents the soil from becoming saturated. When a tree has become severely damaged due to excessive water, it might need a specific root fertilisation treatment. You can call a tree management company for this or buy the necessary supplies at your local gardening shop. 

A well-hydrated tree is a happy tree, but too much hydration means that your tree is in danger of becoming a drowning victim. Speak with a tree care professional for more information.