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Author Topic: How does one grow desert trees?  (Read 3588 times)

Offline Atomic-S

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How does one grow desert trees?
« on: 31/05/2008 05:54:51 »
I have been growing seedlings in pots from the seeds of mesquite trees. Some have succeeded but some have not. A big problem seems to be related to watering. I had one seedling survive virtually without watering over the winter in Arizona, started up in the spring, and was looking good, and I was watering it occasionally, and now it seems to be finished. I assume an excess of water is resonsible. I had several other seedlings to the same way.  right now I have 3 seedlings in pots, the pots containing sand, dirt, and potting soil; and so far they are doing well, but I am unsure how much and when to add water, and whether the soil being used is appropriate. Does anyone know anything about this?


 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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How does one grow desert trees?
« Reply #1 on: 31/05/2008 10:17:48 »
Atomic-S

Thanks for this post. Bass is a good person to ask about this as he is in forestry. The problem with irrigating arid soils is a rapid build up of salts soon emerges and the density changes in the water counter ballance the trees ability to draw the water up. So what we need to do is to introduce some organic matter into the desert sandy soils to produce a sponge effect that enables less watering so there is less salt build up. Also adding a mulch to the surface can help to prevent rapid evaporation and thus reduce the amount of irrigation. And a great trick is to thoroughly soak the sandy soil with water you have added some animal manure to, then place a large piece of plastic sheeting over the soil, cut a small hole and plant your tree,add a plastic watering tube so that you can irrigate the roots not the soil and then cover the plastic with the dry sandy soil to shield the heat from the plant.

Let us know how you get on.

In Kinshasa Africa, they used a toilet bag with some sandy soil. Their Own humanure and urine together with a little water provides the trees with all they need in order to establish themselves. The reason for this is the gelatine fungus that grows from the manure binds the sandy grains into a rich fertile water holding medium that requires far less watering and therefore results in far less salt build up. So any kind of manure will do just fine.

« Last Edit: 02/06/2008 10:32:58 by Andrew K Fletcher »
 

Offline Atomic-S

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How does one grow desert trees?
« Reply #2 on: 02/06/2008 05:41:13 »
Thanks for the tips. Hopefully I will succeed with these.
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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How does one grow desert trees?
« Reply #3 on: 02/06/2008 10:42:45 »
You are most welcome and please please send us some photographs of your land.

Check out my other posts on "A pocket full of acorns" When you have got a formula that works use this project to ask the media to contact the public to come and plant their own trees in your area. This is magical to watch as young and old plant for the future. I walk through woodlands here in the UK that we planted some 12 years ago. The wildlife is incredible there now in what was once a badly degraded field that had little top soil to farm.

Kudos to you my friend for demonstrating your regard and remedial interaction with the Arizona Environment.

Salt is a huge problem out there. What was once the bread basket of the USA is fast becoming a poisoned land, the underground water is so badly affected by salt caused through over irrigation it will not be long before the whole farming community will be forced to abandon the soil unless people like yourself can show how reforesting can transform the soil and reduce the salt build up by locking the salts away in the timber.
 

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How does one grow desert trees?
« Reply #3 on: 02/06/2008 10:42:45 »

 

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