[permaculture] "thirsty " trees....

Kirby Fry peace at totalaccess.net
Tue Sep 10 08:56:11 EDT 2002

Hi Marilyn,

>>  The forest service is always telling us that if we cut down our juniper
it would help retain water on the land.  <<

By retaining water, are they talking about ground water, spring and creek

What do they suggest replacing the junipers with?  The extension agents in
Texas seem to greatly favor the oaks.  It must be their ancient druidic
heritage that makes them so partial to the Quercus (oak) species.  ;^>  Next
time this comes up with a forester, you should really hit them up for a
thorough explanation.

One problem is, here in Central Texas, oak wilt is taking out the solitary
remaining oaks, so leaving an oak, pinion or ANY type of monoculture is not
a wise decision in my book.

I believe what they're hinting at is that the juniper prevents soil water
infiltration and that junipers transpire and evaporate more water that other
trees and herblands.  This may be true to some degree, but the fact is, ALL
trees use (and store) water.  It's a function of their physiology not a
reason to cut them down.

Also, as Vint mentioned (hi Vint!), in drought conditions so many of the
other trees are dying that anything surviving right now would be pretty
special in my book.  Starter / nurse trees for the next wave of post-drought

Fire prevention might be the only reason that I would clear a few trees.

>>  The soil under the trees is pretty good but otherwise its pretty bad so
I've just been planting wildflowers under the trees.  <<

A good choice.  The trees are probably the only reason there's any soil at
all.  As you wrote, remove the trees and you've got parched earth.

I would also lean towards planting succulents which tend to not burn and
serve as some fire protection.


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