Damage from drought stress often shows up months after the initial stress. Evergreen plants such as laurels and assorted conifers give us few symptoms of water stress until it’s too late. Once they pass the permanent wilting point (point of no return), it’s over. Plants that survived the drought may exhibit branch die-back from fungal canker diseases. Prune out dead branches to limit future damage. Rule of thumb during a drought: irrigate the keystone plants in your landscape (those that have significant aesthetic, economic or sentimental value) to ensure survival.