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about the drought

 
 
Reply Sun 8 May, 2011 12:27 pm
We are in the worst drought since records started being kept. Yesterday, the water company placed us on voluntary water restrictions. They added the threat that said restrictions will become mandatory if enough persons do not cooperate. I can cut off most of the watering of the roses, bananas and the like, and if I lose them they can one day be replaced. Or not - whatever. The quandary is that, as the water table sinks, I am going to be left with nine gigantic pines, sitting high and dry. The drought is forecast to perhaps be broken with a tropical storm or two. We get our most activity around September. Five months away. I don't want them to fall on anybody, but, I haven't the eight or nine thousand dollars it may take to have them cut down. I really need to get a reputable tree company to give me their best price. Worry, worry.
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 May, 2011 12:50 pm
@edgarblythe,
I don't know anything about this, but sometimes a fool may say something inadvertantly helpful.

Could there be a way to cheaply brace the trunks up?

I'm thinking like putting a beach/patio umbrella in a stand, or trellising a tomato, but on a larger scale.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 May, 2011 01:03 pm
@edgarblythe,
ed, are they sitting where a professional has to take them out? (near a building or power lines...)

a rain barrel can help some with the water restrictions.
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 May, 2011 01:08 pm
I've been through several severe droughts in California and learned a bunch of ways to find water to keep the plants alive.

One way to get some extra water for plants that people often forget about is the shower. Put some buckets under the faucet while you're waiting for the water to warm up. Also add a bucket in the shower with you. You can collect about 10 gallons of water each time you shower.

Also, save the water used for washing and cooking vegetables and pour that on the plants. They'll love the nutrients.

As for your trees, what about contacting an agricultural extension unit of a local college/university? You might be able to offer your trees for study to the class and get their assessment of their health. They might even remove them for you if needed.



edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 May, 2011 01:24 pm
@Rockhead,
Every one can potentially hit a home or the water company next door.

We have not had any rain to collect all year.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 May, 2011 01:27 pm
@Butrflynet,
I am not overly concerned about the plants such as roses, etc. Relly only the trees. I can contact the local college, I suppose.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 May, 2011 03:09 pm
@edgarblythe,
Why do pine trees fall over if there is a drought?
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 May, 2011 03:24 pm
@JTT,
If the water table drops below the main roots and we are forbidden to give them enough water, they die.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 May, 2011 03:26 pm
My neighbor worries that even if they don't look brown, they may be weakened enough to fall with the next tropical storm.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 8 May, 2011 03:31 pm
I haven't looked at all the recent literature on watering trees in a drought, but this link is of interest, EdgarB.
http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3857&Itemid=1470#TREE_WATER

Look towards the end of it re your own trees.

Back in california we pushed distributed drip irrigation (slow) for getting to the deeper roots, and mulching.

I agree with Butrflynet re calling your local agricultural extension of state or county or university.

Are yours native pines? That might make a difference.

Worse comes to worse, call a certified/licensed arborist out for an hour. There would be a charge for that, but it might well be the best advice you'd get, re watering/how to water, and re any limbs to cut.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 8 May, 2011 03:44 pm
On pine tree roots -
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_deep_do_pine_tree_roots_grow_into_the_ground
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 May, 2011 04:12 pm
Our right to water is being cut drastically. I really don't know what I can get away with. Maybe soaker hoses are the best answer.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 May, 2011 04:13 pm
These pines were left when they culled the native forest to make room for mobile homes.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 May, 2011 04:20 pm
@edgarblythe,
Soaker used to deliver more water than drip, depending on the flow and numbers of outlets but a smart drip system can take some effort to set up. Also, I don't know which would be smartest in your situation, with the heat and the wind, soakers might be best, at least with the outer more surface roots.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 May, 2011 04:20 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

Every one can potentially hit a home or the water company next door.

We have not had any rain to collect all year.

The unwatered trees may fall and hit the water company? Is this a textbook example of irony or what? (Irony is still a difficult concept to master....)
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 May, 2011 04:31 pm
http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee307/edgarblythe/one005.jpg

That green tank is part of the water company's system. It's right over the fence.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 May, 2011 04:35 pm
I have to amend. It is 19 pines. There is also a bald cypress that is getting pretty big.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 May, 2011 04:44 pm
@chai2,
Somehow, I missed your response. I don't know any way to brace 60 foot tall trees. Especially permanently, which is what they would need, if so weakened.

I thought one time about purchasing some come-alongs and putting them strategically on the trees, so that when they fell, they would miss most of the important stuff. Just could not figure well enough to think I could make it work.
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 May, 2011 05:21 pm
Is it possible to hire a non-professional (hence a lot cheaper), to at least lower the height of the trees? Take them down a peg or 2.

They could cut them a small section at a time, lowering the cut section so not to damage anything.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 May, 2011 05:23 pm
@Reyn,
I believe that would kill the trees faster, reyn. Course I am no expert.
 

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