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Sep 09

Record Heat and Drought Effects Landscapes in Peoria

Posted on September 9, 2020 at 12:35 PM by Krislyn Powell

Peoria and its neighbors in the valley are accustomed to weather extremes, but this year has seen new records. 2020 is the third driest summer on record, has seen more than 50 days above 110 degrees and several new daily high temperature records. Due to these record highs, along with low precipitation, plant life has suffered. The effects of heat stress include wilting, yellowing of foliage, scorching of leaf edges, and loss of green leaves to name a few symptoms. Proper irrigation is crucial to vegetation survival during the summer months, but irrigation can only help to a certain point when faced with these ongoing, excessive temperatures. Plants can still face heat stress from harsh conditions in the urban environment from surfaces like asphalt, block walls and concrete sidewalks that absorb the radiant energy and release it back into the environment at night. This creates microclimates that subject plants to heat stress all day and night. The city of Peoria does the following things to mitigate the stress on plant life:

Regularly monitor and manage irrigation schedules and demands.
Find and correct leaks in irrigation.
Pick the correct species of plant depending on the surrounding area.
Plant foliage during the correct times of year such as non-native plants in the cooler months.
Help reduce the heat island effect by adding native plant life and shade.

For questions or concerns about city landscapes, send all inquiries to landscape@peoriaaz.gov