Wednesday, June 27, 2012
During monsoons everyone’s first concern is trees. If you have ever seen a whole tree or a majority of a tree on the grown after a wind storm, you might have thought to yourself that tree needed trim before the storm? Most likely that tree was trim before the storm, the issue is that it was raised not thinned. A high percentage of the “trees” planted in the Phoenix valley are some verity of Mesquite, Palo Verde (Brea) or Iron Wood. The word trees, is in parenthesis because that is the biggest problem; Mesquites and Palo Verde’s are not trees they are very large shrubs. A tree is “self pruning.” If you want to see the difference between a self pruning and non self pruning plant, go to a northern Arizona pine forest and then go to the natural desert (15 minutes out side of town.) In the pine forest you can walk through it with little to no ducking, and no human punned them. In the desert the Mesquite and Palo Verde’s will a have branches all the way to the ground. If the placement was right on tree when planted in a urban landscape, it should never be raised more then 1/3 the height of the tree. If you do raise the tree higher, it likely will became top heavy or grow unsightly suckers. If a “tree” is top heavy is needs thinned, or it might be one of the trees on the ground after the next storm.
The second concern should be the waste of water. This is the time of year when the desert gets a lot if its yearly ran. Most landscapes can do without irrigation water for a several days after a rain. A few ways to handle this are to: manually turning off the water, a rain sensor or soil moister sensor integrated into the irritation system. Most irrigation clocks are compatible with one and/or the other. Rain sensors are great for grasses and ok for shrubs. They have no way of sensing how deep and how long the water last in the soil, so that aren’t ideal for tree lines. Soil Moister sensor are great for all three categories but are usually a little more expensive.