Dealing with drought in the landscape


Research has shown that trees are important to the quality of residential streets and to the perceptions people have about their neighborhoods. People prefer landscapes with trees, especially large ones. Shrubs provide the framework for the garden, annuals and perennials provide colorful accents, and the lawn is the carpet that unifies the composition. All components are required to gain the economic and social benefits associated with an attractive landscape, which include increased property value (12 to 15 percent), increased occupancy for apartments and hotels, greater productivity in business establishments, improved social communities in housing complexes,  and enhanced recovery in hospitals.

Landscape plants are important to our social well being. Landscape plants also play an important environmental role. Through photosynthesis, they use CO2 (carbon dioxide) and release O2 (oxygen). Plants provide shade and cool the environment by water evaporation from leaves. They also reduce wind speed and remove dust and pollutants from the air.

It is less expensive economically and environmentally to maintain landscape plants during a drought with minimal watering than to allow landscape plants to die and lose the benefits they provide. When landscape plants are replaced, they will require much more water to reestablish than would have been required to maintain them.

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