Tree Preservation Inc. - Bel Air Tree Service & Landscape Installations: (310) 853-1805, http://www.treepreservationinc.com
tree trimming, tree care, tree service, tree removal, tree planting, tree installations, organic fertilization, tree consultations, support systems, landscape installations and design, certified arborist, tree disease dianosis & prevention
ARE YOUR TREES COMPATIBLE WITH YOUR PLANTS? LEARN THE DIFFERING WATER NEEDS OF YOUR PLANTS AND TREES.
I’m not talking about leaf color, flowering patterns, or other attributes, but about the need for water. One of THE MOST important issues for Southern Californians and their gardens, from a cost and environmental standpoint, is the watering needs of their garden.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen so many trees in Southern California die from too much water, because the irrigation was geared to grow the grass and small plants. Guess what? The plants and grass were located in the root zone of the large mature trees! Large mature trees do not like this!
Do you know that in our dry Mediterranean climate I’ve seen more trees die from over-watering than drought stress? Very hard to believe, but we are so well-intentioned to take care of our trees, since lack of water is always the problem, that we over-water to keep our trees healthy! This is not the answer or solution, but the cause of death! Over-watering of mature trees especially, is the kiss of death. Armillaria mellea, better known as “Oak root rot or fungus” loves very moist or overly moist soil conditions to thrive in. In addition, other fungi, such as Phytophthora, is a lover of wet conditions, and will decimate trees as well!
In general, grass and small plants (non-natives) need frequent and small amounts of irrigation on a regular basis. Mature trees on the other hand, need deep and infrequent watering. When both are in the same root zone as one another, one will thrive and the other will not. Either the small plants and thirsty grass get what they need while the tree roots get too much water, or the trees get what they need, but the plants and/or grass die due to drought stress.
Unfortunately, I don’t often see Arborists, gardeners, designers, or Landscape Architects address this issue.
Some ideas for solving this problem are as follows:
1.Research the watering needs of your small plants and grass with that of mature trees. Make sure that incompatible vegetation are not adjacent to one another.
2.Separate (if possible) the layout of the land, with drought-tolerant species in one area with one irrigation methodology, contrasted with grass/small plants of differing watering needs in another.
3.Create uniformity in plant and tree material, i.e. go with the “SAME THEME” OF VEGETATION. A desert or native theme is okay for plants WITH trees of all sizes, contrasted to mixing natives with tropicals, desert plants with humidity loving plants (these examples are extreme, but I’ve seen it often)!
4.If you can’t change the theme of plants that are with trees and visa versa, consider modifying your irrigation system, whereby you convert the above ground sprinkler heads to a drip system, or soaker hose, or newer “micro” sprays, etc. Did you know that sprinkler heads should NEVER contact the bark of trees? This just accelerates decay from fungi causing organisms.
Consistency is the key. Know your plants and trees, and they will thank-you in their own way for good and proper care!
President & Certified Arborist
Tree Preservation Inc., a full-service tree care company based in Southern California