[permaculture] "thirsty " trees....

Mark mpludwig at facstaff.wisc.edu
Sun Sep 8 12:24:31 EDT 2002

At 07:21 AM 9/7/02 -0700, you wrote:
>So many observations leading to opposing viewpoints....
>Sometimes I wonder whether we aren't missing a huge piece of the puzzle. I'm
>just reading a whole bunch of bio-dynamics stuff and my mind is opening to 

To me this points to multiple possible fundamental different permacultures 
rather than the one true design.

>What if...water had an affinity for certain plants, but not others?  We know
>about allelopathic effects of plants, we know that many organisms produce
>hydrophobic substances.....

I think its more simple than that.  Three factors - 1 rate of rainfall 
infiltration influenced by soil type, slope and vegetation and 2 rate of 
transpiration, 3 deep soil factors like underlying rock or deep clay lenses.

>What if.... it's just an "energy thing" and has nothing at all to do with the
>vegetation? The Chinese call it "Feng-shui", Steiner calls it the "formative
>etheric forces"....

Hmmm.  To much for the barbarians....

>One of the books I just read is "Secrets of the Soil" by Thompkins and Bird.
>Can't pretend I understand everything they talk about, but that just makes it
>all the more intriguing. There is so much we can't explain with our current
>scientific models.  I know that my own view of nature is still mostly 
>although I've always thought of myself as a "spiritual" person. Interesting

Read SOS years ago.  Interesting but a little far out and esoteric.  I 
think we do a whole lot better to focus on what soil science does know and 
add on BD, energy theorys etc. as secondary practices.

>Kirby Fry wrote:
> > Hello Heide,
> >
> > Another scenario in Central Texas is that if you remove all of the juniper
> > trees, the springs supposedly flow longer.
> >
> > David Bambhurger of Bambhurger Ranch has been vigorously removing the
> > junipers from his property for ten years and promoting tall grasses 
> with the
> > enthusiastic support of the ag extension services.  Apparently he has
> > actually increased spring flow.
> >
> > Of course, the local ranchers are all touting his work as an excuse to
> > remove their juniper, often however, they ignore the tall grass part of the
> > project and just let their cattle out on the newly cleared lands.
> >
> > I think what folks aren't realizing is that when the trees are present, the
> > water is indeed there, but they're not seeing it because it's locked up in
> > the trees and going to rehumidify the air.  It's pretty when springs flow
> > but essentially you're just moving the water on its way even faster.  In
> > Texas that means you're giving it up to the rice farmers along the Colorado
> > and Brazos Rivers.
> >
> > Is there a point when tree cover actually increases spring flow?
> >
> > Kirby Fry
> >
> > For the real scoop on environmental and social justice issues check out the
> > archives of Democracy Now!
> > http://www.webactive.com/webactive/pacifica/demnow/archive.html
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> > permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
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Mark P. Ludwig
Poultry Research Lab
University of Wisconsin -Madison
608-262-1730 WK
608-846-7125 HM

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