Saving tree or vegetable crops after floods or high rainfall

The sooner you remove excess water and begin treating your tree or vegetable crops after flooding or high rainfall, the more chance they have of remaining healthy.

Most trees will stay healthy if floodwater recedes within a few days. If the water drains within 24 hours, the impact on plant health is usually minimal. Some tree deaths can be expected if floodwater remains for extended periods (3-plus days), especially on less well drained soils that remain waterlogged after floods have receded.

Vegetable crops are at particular risk following a flood or heavy rain, as they lack an extensive root system. Waterlogged plants may lack nutrients due to nutrient leaching from the soil and reduced uptake by the plant because of a damaged root system. Gradually replace these nutrients with fertiliser to help the crops recover.

Always seek professional crop advice before making decisions about removing or replacing crops damaged by waterlogging. Your crops may be salvageable.

This guide explains what you can do to minimise damage to vegetable and tree crops after high rainfall or flooding.