[permaculture] "thirsty " trees....

Kirby Fry peace at totalaccess.net
Wed Sep 11 05:20:08 EDT 2002


Hi Mark,

>>  Could you elaborate on this a bit?  Are you saying this land was grazed
properly, poorly, what?  <<

I was saying, that at the Bambhurger Ranch in Central Texas after they
cleared the juniper they worked to restore a tall grass ecosystem,
introducing vegetation and holding off on the grazing until that vegetation
was established.  Then 5 or 10 years later they reported that springs were
flowing better and longer.

In the case of the Bambhurger Ranch I don't think grazing itself actually
had anything at all to do with spring flow.  It was mostly a factor of
replacing juniper with tall grass and mechanically supressing further
juniper encroachment.

When other ranchers heard about this practice (don't know if I could
actually call it a study) of clearing trees and increasing spring flow,
quite often they used it as justification to clear trees but hardly ever did
I hear about other ranchers following up tree clearing with introducing tall
grasses and prairie forbes.

In other words, they simply cut down the trees and put the cattle right back
in without the native revegetation regime.  Most grazing systems in Texas
are lackadaisical (the cattle take what they want and leave only noxious
weeds) and ultimately lead to the decline of a grassland system.

So it's hard for me to believe that tree clearing and lax grazing would lead
to increased spring flow.

Kirby




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