The drought is having an impact on trees in California. That, according to certified arborist Kevin Wilson and others who work with trees and are seeing them rot, become bug infested and dying from lack of water. It's not just the lack of rain, but also the lack of landscape watering because of cutbacks from the state.
Wilson says, so far this year, the city of Thousand Oaks has lost some 300 trees from drought-related problems. Last year it was 700. By year's end, Wilson says, it could be that or more.
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When trees get stressed, Wilson says, their loss can have a big affect on us. He says trees are helpful in sequestering carbon, providing shade, increasing property value and addressing stormwater issues when we do get rain."
In nearby Simi Valley, Jim Keppler can't wait for rain to help the trees he works with everyday. He's also seeing many die. In one park, there are 16 failing which is tough to watch. Says the 40-year-veteran of the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District, "When I see a tree dying like this it doesn't feel good because there's nothing I can do."
Keppler says he's got to follow the rules. In Simi Valley, the state ordered a 30% cut in water use. Landscape watering can only be done twice a week. But, the problem exists many parts of Southern California as well.
Wilson says, "All of the trees in the state are being affected. To what degree depends on the type of tree, how big the tree is... where it's located."