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What do I hate more than drought itself?

Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 18, 13 at 20:31

People who water their grass but not their trees!

I'm just dumbfounded when I see this. I have one living right next to me.

Hoping rain comes to those in need...especially the west coast.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

People who water their grass really annoy me! Just leave it. It may go brown like a paper bag but its still alive. Bit of rain and the green comes back.

Treat a tree like that and you get firewood and a removal bill!


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

  • Posted by lkz5ia z5 west iowa (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 18, 13 at 22:22

If the tree is established, will stay green, grass will go dormant, so i can see the logic of watering one and not other.


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

How about if you just turn the sprinkler on for 6 hours every three days or so even in last year's heat and drought EVERYTHING gets watered including the trees.


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

Well, if you wanted trees to put on more growth so you water trees the right way and grass thrives from that...


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

I thought the point was to water your trees to grow large enough they shade the whole yard so grass DOESN'T grow and you don't have to waste hours a week cutting it back to the same height over and over and over and over and over etc not to mention all the money on a lawnmower, upkeep, and gas...

Maybe that's just me...


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

FWIW,
Many many many local trees in yards have died the last two years due to people ignoring their trees during exceptional drought. I've told several of my neighbors that if they want to keep them, then they need to water them in summer 2001 and 2012. Of course they didn't listen until the trees of one of them suddenly dropped almost all it leaves, and they couldn't understand why that would happen. I mean after all it was only 104-108F daily, and hadn't rained for two months. What does that crazy guy with the healthy green trees know?

Arktrees


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

Not all trees can cope with drought. A lot depends on your watering habits when its young. Some say that regular watering of a sapling promotes shallow root growth which is bad for the tree if its not watered regularly when its bigger.


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

I share your concern for the trees, so important for cooling shade in a hot, drought-ish place, and the organic matter they produce. What kind/how old of trees are you talking about? No way a tree older than I am needs me to turn the hose on it occasionally... to give it what - 1,000 gallons of (chemically polluted tap) water? If an area is prone to drought, the native trees can handle that. Trying to grow a traditional grass lawn in a desert/drought-prone area is probably the bigger folly. Agreed, Larry, the encouragement of surface roots through watering shallowly and often, should be avoided for any plant, especially a tree. As touched on above, trees aren't made to grow in a sea of grass. If left alone, they create seedlings that make a shady grove, with much more moist soil that easily absorbs water deeply from the constant mulching of the dropped leaves.

"Hoping rain comes to those in need." Me too!!!


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

Actually purple, plenty of native large old trees have died locally due to the droughts of 2011 and 2012. Even more so in Texas. Sometimes it takes a few years to die due to drought damage. The trees end up stressed and pathogens begin to move in and take advantage. In addition trees inn a yard near a house are not in their native environment. If they were, most will be surrounded by other trees, and with a thick layer of leaf litter around them. Not many yards like that, and if they are, people tend to get upset.

One of those casualties was once the State Champion Black Oak located in a wild area of a local park. Absolutely native, absolutely mature (trunk diameter of something like 7-8'), and is absolutely dead after being finished off by the drought of 2011.

So in short, Your logic is very flawed.

Arktrees

This post was edited by arktrees on Mon, Aug 19, 13 at 13:16


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

I know this has been around before, but this thread made me dig it up again...

hortster

God & Lawn Care

GOD: (To Saint Francis)
Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet? What happened to the dandelions, violets, milkweeds and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles.

St. FRANCIS:
It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers 'weeds' and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

GOD:
Grass? But, it's so boring. It's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and sod worms. It's sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

ST. FRANCIS:
Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

GOD:
The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

ST. FRANCIS:
Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it-sometimes twice a week.

GOD:
They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?

ST. FRANCIS:
Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

GOD:
They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

ST. FRANCIS:
No, Sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

GOD:
Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

ST. FRANCIS:
Yes, Sir.

GOD:
These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

ST. FRANCIS:
You aren't going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

GOD:
What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It's a natural cycle of life.

ST. FRANCIS:
You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

GOD:
No!? What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

ST. FRANCIS:
After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

GOD:
And where do they get this mulch?

ST. FRANCIS:
They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

GOD:
Enough! I don't want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

ST. CATHERINE:
'Dumb and Dumber', Lord. It's a story about....

GOD:
Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

Agree with OP.
We have 5 seasons down here. The 5th one we refer to as "hell".
The trouble we have down here is that during times of heat and drought, water restrictions often are imposed.

Watering even established trees once per month during July/August if abnormal heat/drought occurs seems to help relieve some of the stress off the tree. We do it for 4-5 trees that are immediate to the house if possible. Those that are not established are typically on a watering schedule.


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

Whaas,

Most never did anything right even though I try and explain how to water trees properly. They are often shocked that I don't water very often during the summers. Maybe just 1-3 times a month and they were more interested how my grass stayed thick and lush rather than maximizing tree growth. Water deeply and infrequently often make both grass and trees happy at the same time...


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 19, 13 at 20:24

What I see around here is the shaded grass tends to stay green well over a month without rain if the temps stay at or below normal.

Its the areas of the yard in which the grass is in sun and then they water that because its starts to show brown.

What prompted my post is that I gifted my neighbor a 6' Ginkgo last year that he never watered. I had to walk in his yard to water it myself. This year I left it to its own device even though its only been in the ground just shy of two years. He hasn't attempted to water it once nor water the maple seedling that was gifted to him. Yet I see the front yard sprinkler running for the grass!


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

Is this the gingko with the outrageous red mulch mound? ;^)

Sounds like the neighbor doesn't deserve any more gifts.


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 19, 13 at 23:19

Its faded dirty pink now! lol


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

This reminds me of the really old lady who used to live next door. While I was at work, she would come into my yard and pull up my flowers that I bought and planted, some things that were coming up from seeds I'd scattered. Then she'd proudly tell me how she'd weeded my garden for me. I'm sure she thought she was being a helpful neighbor but I just wished she'd mind her own business.


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

  • Posted by beng z6 western MD (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 20, 13 at 10:34

I think of my grass as a nuisance interfering w/the trees. Trees require little maintenance, while grass devours time, effort & money. Whoever came up w/the idea of grass lawns should have been strung up...


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

beng,
FWIW, yards with grass and few trees resemble a tropical savanna. Some believe this is the reason people create them as they do.

Arktrees


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

Beng, (or anyone,) if you'd genuinely like to know, I can suggest The Lawn: A History of an American Obsession, by Virginia Scott Jenkins. Not a well-structured or organized book, IMO, but very informative and not too heavy of a read.

If you'd like to do things differently, or just wonder what the effect of all of this grass is, I would recommend Redesigning the American Lawn: A Search for Environmental Harmony, by Herbert Bormann, Diana Balmori, Professor Gordon T. Geballe. The costs are staggering, in regard to the environment, people's lifestyles and finances, erosion, biodiversity, etc...


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (NW) (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 20, 13 at 11:57

I wish I had a neighbour like that. I would have trained her on what was a weed and then let her go to town on weeding my mulch beds!


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

My ideal is to end up with a loose canopy. Not like true forest, but trees spaced to where at maturity the branches "just" touch, but some open space as well down below.


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

Nice, I too hate to see people watering lawns. I never water our lawn and it always comes back after drought. In a drought I don't even have time to water the grass because I'm so busy trying to keep up with watering the gardens and the trees. The people who water their grass often have cookie cutter gardens from Home Depot anyway....


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

  • Posted by botann z8 SEof Seattle (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 21, 13 at 13:30

I have ten acres and can mow my lawn with a walk behind power mower in about 15 minutes. My lawn used to be much larger.
I'm on the verge of covering what I have left with woodchips for a few years. That still leaves me with some open space.
One problem though. My wife wants a lawn and is serious about it. I can't understand why. The only time she goes outside is to get in the car and go shopping. I'm going to give her a lawn between the house and garage. It's going to be the size of a Chiclet. ;-) We've been married 40 years and I can 'pull her leg' once in awhile, or as the English say 'Wind her up'.
Mike


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

  • Posted by jcalhoun 8b Mobile County AL (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 25, 13 at 4:32

At the moment my yard is still under water.

horster,

Thanks. I have not seen that one. Very funny!


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

I have just under 2 acres, and it takes about 4 hours to cut it all, I can't wait until the trees get wider. I have groundcovers under most of them. Those with no spreading groundcover have this ground-ivy that gets over a foot tall, it is wild, IOW, I never planted it. I hate cutting all the grass. My trees are mostly small still and I have to go around the mulch rings. Eventually They will be like Hairmetal is trying in his/her yard. Until they get some size I'll be out there for 3-4 hours every week to 9 days. I have some with a nice colony of Creeping Jenny, Ajuga, Goutweed, Periwinkle, Barren Raspberry. I can't wait til the ground-covers take over.


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

I know my area will have drought, it is just a matter of when, I realize my post has nothing to do with drought, but I just agree with the grass lawn babying being wasteful. You can lose your grtass, but trees are 100% more important in my opinion.


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

Poaky, I know what you're saying and I agree. I work a K-State Master Gardener hotline regularly, and it seems like the majority of our calls and visits concerning trees can be tied back to the drought from the last two years. If the problems aren't directly related to insufficient moisture, they are due to trees being so stressed that they are more vulnerable to pests and diseases. Trunk problems are a particular concern. We see so many more of those lately, and they are usually fatal. Theonly tree I didn't bother watering was a silver maple in our front yard, It came with the house, I don't like it, my husband loves it, and the trunk is now split and full of little bracket fungi. So it will have to go (yayyy!).

The homeowners I have spoken with are often surprised that their trees need supplemental water. In our own landscape, we are still watering trees planted two and three years ago, even in dry winters. It's a pain, and it gets really expensive. One of our water bills last summer was over a thousand dollars, but my husband I agree that our trees and shrubs are an INVESTMENT. They cost a lot to put in, they cost a lot to remove when they die, and the blank spots they leave are very depressing. So all we can do at Extension is to continue to pound home the message that lawns need about 1/4" of moisture every 7-10 days to keep them dormant and alive, and trees need much more than that -- especially when there are wide cracks in the soil over their root zones.

I am not against watering lawns to keep them alive. Many people don't realize lawns will go from dormant to dead, and they're surprised when the rains return and the lawns don't.

Renovating a lawn is also very expensive and a royal pain, and growing a new lawn requires an awful lot of regular watering. I would rather use that water to prevent it from dying in the first place. So I watered both the lawn and trees this summer, and thank heaven we got over an inch of rain this morning, because I am TIRED of it.


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

People who plant new trees, don't water them 5 gallons every day for the first 5-6 weeks and then 2- 3 times a week for at least the next 4 months, preferably 8 months and then complain to me that the "tree was no good, it died"!


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

I'm already seeing dead trees in my neighborhood... With my careful watering plan, my taxodium trees grew at least 3 feet so far in their first year in the ground. Hoping for 5 feet of growth so I can get rid of builder trees. Ugly...


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

What I find so interesting is how different conditions are within a relativly short distance. No drought here in NJ, but I read on the some forums of dryness developing in Pa. and Maryland. Even on a micro level, it varies greatly...and suddenly! Yesterday, one town over (talking a couple of miles here) had flooding rain---here almost none. In fact, despite the overcast, crappy, humid weather, I watered today (even though we are in a flood alert area, because we may get nothing). One of my pet peeves is seeing the sprinklers on a yard going...when it is raining, but now I understand.


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

  • Posted by beng z6 western MD (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 2, 13 at 12:41

njoasis, the summer rain varies greatly. I missed out a bit on June/July rain, but got it in August -- 6.21". August rainfall was only 2" at the Hagerstown Airport 60 miles due east.

Look at the below link for MD for some NOAA stations -- just substitute pa (or any state) for md in the url to see Pennsylvania. Alot of text -- need to page about halfway down the entire page to begin seeing individual stations:

Here is a link that might be useful: MD NOAA stations


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RE: What do I hate more than drought itself?

On the subject of what bothers me; Municipalities and developers who plant trees and then never water them; People who plant the wrong tree in the wrong place;
Big Box stores who sell trees and shrubs that will never survive in our climate;
People who buy there trees and shrubs from the big box stores and wonder why the tree the pimply faced kid sold them isn't growing;
People who plant weed trees because they got them for free from their friends yard.

I could go on.


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