STA, 17 August 2022 - As experts take stock of the drought damage to agriculture, city dwellers are witnessing the long-term impact of the dry summer too, especially on the coast where municipal vegetation has suffered additionally due to a watering ban. Cities where watering has mostly been allowed have used different approaches to prevent the worst.
The heaviest damage is being reported in coastal municipalities, although the city of Koper has for instance mitigated the watering ban somewhat by using water from a nearby lake.
Annuals, perennials, shrubs and fragrance plants are currently struggling with the drought, and a dozen newly planted trees have perished.
The heat has also left a strong mark on Koper's Bonifika sports centre, with two of its three football pitches completely ruined by the heat and watering ban. The main pitch is being watered with bought water delivered from 60 kilometres away.
Meanwhile, Voka Snaga, the municipal company responsible for the maintenance of trees in Ljubljana, is also struggling to protect some of the trees in the capital, even though it has executed 5,790 rounds of watering on 1,087 trees during the summer.
"At extremely high temperatures of more than 35 degrees Celsius, sometimes even regular watering does not protect the trees from drying out," the company's representatives told the STA amid media reports that the landmark birch tree in Prešeren square is now dry.
In Maribor, the main challenge are the roughly 800 trees planted in the past three years, with some of the most vulnerable ones being watered on a daily basis.
Moreover, the moving height has been raised at municipal green areas to protect them from from drying out completely. Mulching and watering bags have proven invaluable.
Similar measures are used in Kranj, where newly planted trees - some 500 were planted in the past four years - are also being supported with additives such as humic acid and special tablets that help to alleviate the impact of the drought.
Officials in Celje are speaking of "a doubling if not tripling" of efforts to support the city's vegetation compared to last year. Watering bags are a popular measure and while damage has also been seen on older trees, they do not seem to be drying out.
Much success in the fight against the heat and drought is being reported from Murska Sobota, but officials were careful to note that the actual extent of the damage will not be clear before next spring when the trees should start producing fresh leaves.