Trees suffer in early Autumn drought

The lack of rainfall in South East England and East Anglia is producing an Autumn drought which is threatening many of our native tree specimens.

The Met Offiice said that in the South East as a whole there was just 35mm of rain in August, compared to an average of 50mm. In September was only 13mm in the area.

The Environment Agency said the drier than average August, together with high temperatures at times, caused soil moisture deficits that particularly affects plants. The regional average is now 125.4mm, compared to an average shortfall of 86mm.

Nigel Taylor, Curator of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, said the famous gardens have already lost two trees and the situation would be “serious” for gardeners if rain does not come soon.

Mr Taylor explained that trees will shed their leaves because of a lack of water as well as the cooling temperature. The garden has lost two pine trees. Limes, horse chesnut trees and shrubs like hydrangeas are also suffering.Autumn, park in Ealing, London, UK

Lack of water regular water supply is already a serious issue for many of our native trees and plants as climate change affects the rainfall that  the UK has always relied on. This brings new challenges to our heritage gardens such as Kew but also affects anyone with a garden.

I have noticed Autumn crocuses, meadow saffrons and cyclamen doing well but other flowers like Michaelmas daisy and herbaceous perennials are really suffering because of a lack of water and the heat.This proves to me that the future of the traditional english herbacous border is seriously under threat and drought resistant planting schemes need to be adopted in our gardens.

Although temperature rise for the last few years has caused autumn to be warmer and wetter than usual, it is predicted that this year it could be a very short gardening season if there is a cold snap as the withered plants will die off quickly.

Let me know how the trees and plants in your garden are  coping with the lack of rain in the South and East this Autumn – hello

This post was written by:

- who has written 872 posts on My Climate Change Garden.

I am not an experienced gardener - more of an enthusiastic amateur who learns by trial and error and who is keen to "manage" the effects of shifting weather patterns on my garden. Writing this blog is my passion and it has evolved over 12 years to inspire engagement with climate change outside our back doors, in our personal gardens and green spaces. My mission is to fertilise and expand this platform to grow a community of global gardeners communicating about the effects of climate change on our plants and exploring how each individual can make small changes in our lives to become more sustainable. The future of our gardens and #OurPlanet is in our hands - please plant your own seeds for our collective sustainable future.

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Zoë Says:

    All my fruit trees have dropped most their leaves early, and two of my trained pears are actually in blossom! Someone told me that means they are on their last legs. Real sad about this as they have taken years and years to train as double U cordons.

  2. elephant's eye Says:

    Why don’t you use grey water for fruit trees in a home garden? We do, and it gets HOT here!