St. Louis (KSDK) - Thursday on First @ 4 horticulturist Chip Tynen from the Missouri Botanical Gardens told viewers our tree population may be feeling the affects of this year's drought until 2018.
Recent rains, especially those from the tropical storm formerly known as Isaac, have helped trees in the short term. With this weeks cool, clear, dry weather we may still see decent fall color.
But because the drought was so prolonged and coupled with such warm temperatures, Tynen says our "trees are confused. They just don't know what to do!"
As a result, some magnolias have emerged into full bloom; many evergreens, especially spruce, are sprouting new growth, something they don't typically do until April.
This mix up in their cycles could lead to a number of problems down the road but the trees are also vulnerable in the very near term.
"If we were to get an early hard freeze a lot our trees would be in big trouble," said Tynen.
Not only that but because root systems, even with the largest trees, have been compromised by the prolonged hot, dry weather it may be five or six years before they fully recover "and that's only if we don't see another drought during that time," said Tynen.
What can you do for the trees in your yard?
Tynen has two suggestions: give a lot of water and "consult a good horticulturist."