Although drought is often the cause, trees can die for other reasons besides lack of soil moisture, said Dr. Eric Taylor, a Texas AgriLife Extension Service forestry specialist in Overton. “Drought is the primary contributor to tree kill, but it may not be exactly the way you might be thinking,” Taylor said. He said that in most instances, the trees that died in 2011 were already stressed from a number of pre-existing environmental factors such as overcrowding, growing on the wrong site, age, soil compaction, trenching or inappropriate use of herbicides. If not for these factors, a large proportion of the trees that died might have recovered from the drought.
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