Drought taking huge toll on trees in Visalia

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- The drought is taking a huge toll on trees in the Valley. Many are drying up, some are dropping limbs and the city of Visalia is calling on the people to save them.

Dominic Bianchi is in the landscaping business for 30 years and this year has been tough.

"Everything is just having a hard time, everything," Bianchi said.

The biggest problem is hanging above his head -- two giant oak trees, both are old and thirsty,

Bianchi added, "It's a matter of time before these have to come out."

They get water twice a week, which is the limit in Visalia. Still, this one is starting to hollow out and it's already dropped one big limb.

"This used to be all brick and it tore it all up," Bianchi added. "Sunk it (the limb) 4 feet into the ground, we had to dig it out with a bobcat."

In other parts of town, it's a similar story. Trees of all sizes are hurting. Many of them, in lawns that have gone brown.

The city's natural resource conservation manager, Kim Loeb said, "The additional heat, the dryness and as people back off watering, they need to keep an eye on their trees."

He says there are a few things people can do. Monitor the soil, make sure it doesn't dry out. Placing mulch 4 inches away from the trunk line can help and get rid of weeds and grass within 4 feet of any tree.

"We're trying to use the water that we do have, wisely and trees are a wise investment of water," Loeb said.

Bianchi says there just isn't enough water for his oak trees or the redwoods next door, "They're definitely in their final days, you know, as you can tell, they look pretty sparse."

Still, he's doing everything he can to save them and stay in business.

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