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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Managing Monsoon Winds and Lanscaping

Each year as the monsoon season descends upon us, we see too many trees uprooted and ruined by poor preparation. With the proper planning and practices, this can all be avoided. Take time to inspect and make certain of the following preventive measures:

Irrigation
Drippers should be away from the trunk and toward the drip line (outer edge of the canopy) of the tree. Adjusting them should be an ongoing project as the trees mature. Wherever the greatest amount of moisture is, the roots will be as well. Too often we see a tree with a 10-foot canopy blow over and expose a one-foot root ball. In this situation, it is very likely that the drippers were never moved from around the trunk as the tree grew. By moving the drippers properly, the roots expand and better anchor the tree. The amount and frequency of irrigation depends upon the type of tree and the character of the soil. A rule of thumb would be to slowly, deeply and thoroughly irrigate according to the chart below. The water needs of plants and trees changes with the seasons and the irrigation frequency and duration should be changed accordingly. Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings and make certain that all of the drippers operate properly.
Arizona soils are composed of hard caliche, which does not allow the water to penetrate and encourage deep roots. Push those roots down with soil acidifier. This inexpensive solution should be applied about three times per year – remember holidays such as Valentines Day, Memorial Day and Labor day. If you have never done this, start now.

Watering Schedule

NOTE: Duration and frequencies will vary with individual soil conditions.

Weather
Duration & Frequency of Watering
Vegetables & Flowers TTape or Lazar
Vines & Shrubs
1 GPH
Shrubs & Trees
4’-5’
2, 1GPH
Shrubs & Trees
5’-10’
3, 1GPH
Trees
10’-20’+
4, 1GPH
Container Plants Drip
Lawns
Sprinklers
Cool
Time
(Hours)
1-2
1
1½ – 2
1½ – 2
1½ – 2
10 min
10-15 min
 
Days per Week
1-2
1
1
1
1
2-3
1
Warm
Time
(Hours)
2-3
2
2
2
4
20 min
15 min.
 
Days per Week
2
1
1
1
1
3
1-2
Hot
Time
(Hours)
2-3
2
2
2
4
30 min
10-20 min.
 
Days per Week
2
2
2
2
2
3
3

Thinning:
During extreme wind situations–and all things being equal–a tree with a thick head will be the most likely to become uprooted. The heads of mesquites and other trees that tend to be thick should be selectively thinned. This does not mean radical pruning. You’re attempting to accomplish a thinner head for better wind passage.

Staking:
Staking is especially important with young trees or trees you suspect may be a problem. As a matter of routine, we stake all trees, except pines. For young trees, we suggest using the double-stake method. Double staking with lodge poles provides a greater stability than the one-stake method and ties can be placed at more secure intervals. Regardless of the maturity of the tree and whenever the situation allows, the use of wire and anchors, such as Duckbill, is far superior. While this method may be awkward in turf or high foot traffic areas, it provides the greatest strength and stability. Moreover, it’s much easier to stake the tree properly before it blows over than it is to try and correct the situation afterward. If you don’t feel comfortable tackling these tasks yourself, your local nursery should be able to recommend competent and reasonable companies that can help.

Is It Fixable?
If your tree is down, there is no guarantee that it will come back should you replant it, but there’s no guarantee that it won’t either. Should you decide to replant, take care not to damage the taproot since it is the trees major artery. Peripheral root damage is tolerable, if minimal. Loosen the soil slightly to lend some mobility to the tree. Don’t force the tree to move in the direction you want. Cover the exposed roots, but don’t over bury them. Keep the soil level even with the original. If you didn’t thin the crown, don’t do it now since the tree is already stressed. Move the drippers out to the drip line, if you haven’t already. Replace broken or set new lodge poles and secure with Dand-o-line. Apply acidifier and Super Thrive to ease transplant stress and help the tree re-aclimate.

West Nile Virus
Most Valley residents are already aware of the West Nile Virus problem. The Maricopa County Environmental Services Department actively surveys valley locations monitoring for the presence of infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus have been detected earlier than in previous years, according to a recent release by the county. Eliminating sources of standing water is a key element in fighting the proliferation of infected mosquitoes. Prevention steps include: removing saucers from under potted plants; eliminating containers and tires that can collect water as well as cleaning up dirty pools. What do you do about areas in your yard that collect standing water after an irrigation, rain or from sprinkler run-off? Areas where water is left standing for even a few days can be a breeding ground for mosquito larvae, increasing the disease threat to your family and horses. The answer is to use a water-soluble soil acidifie. Desert soils are particularly high in clay, calcium, and sodium. As a result they are extremely hard and impermeable to water. Nutrients are locked up in the soil and not accessible to plant roots. The unique action of soil acidifiers softens the hard caliche soil so that water can soak in and eliminate standing water.

Gardener’s World Nursery Ph: 602-437-0700
3401 E. Baseline Rd. Email: sales@gardenpro.net

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