Scorched Beech Leaf

Drought - Too little water can cause wilting, leaf scorch (browned leaf edges), early fruit drop, stem dieback and plant death.  It can also make a plant more susceptible to harmful diseases and pests.  Plants draw in water from the soil, use it for plant growth, and then water is released from stems and leaves through a process called transpiration.  Plants begin to wilt and suffer drought stress when the transpiration rate exceeds water up-take.  Drought is most prevalent in the long days of the summer and can also effect evergreens during dry, windy winters.  Also, dry breezes contribute significantly to drought stress.

Signs of drought stress

        During a drought, especially such a prolonged drought as we are having, plants may exhibit any of the following:

Tips for helping your trees during the drought

Long-term consequences


This web site was created for the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania's Plant Clinic.
Created by C. Hetzel and revised by S. Eisenman on 3/7/02.