Ask Burton: Q: The leaves on my weeping redbud (pictured) are dry and the tree has started looking really bad. We just planted it in March. What do you think happened to it?

A: Sadly, it appears that your redbud has not received enough water. The weather has been unseasonably warm with temperatures up in to the 90’s, so this automatically means we all need to get far more serious about watering our plants….especially the newly installed ones.

Every year, it seems, the first hot week sneaks up on us! This year it hit in early May, so we all now need to get more aggressive with our watering before damage is done to our plants. Even the most experienced gardener can be caught unaware (me included!), so keep your eyes and ears on the weather, and plan your watering schedule accordingly. New plants that were perfectly fine with one or two good soakings a week will likely need another watering day or two per week, or much heavier soaking on the days you do water.

New plantings need more care than your established landscape. Increase your watering as the weather heats up to ensure the success of newly installed plants in your yard. Just remember that their root systems have not had time to develop much outside of the root ball that was in the container you purchased the plant in. It’s up to you to ensure that those newly planted root balls get enough water, including good deep soakings with the water hose, not just an occasional light sprinkling.