October 24, 2013
Drought: not out of the woods with our trees
Thanks to cool weather and restorative rain, weary plants rebounded to attend my garden’s fall prom.
My native evergreen sumac (Rhus virens) is in high gear, pumping out flowers and fruits for wildlife, joined by Mexican redbud to the right.
According to Texas A&M, the Comanche Indians mixed evergreen sumac’s sun-cured leaves with tobacco for smoking, and as a remedy for asthma.
Still, we can’t rest on our recent rain laurels.
Across town and across Texas, we’ve lost frightening numbers of trees due to drought and secondary issues resulting from stress. Unlike little perennials that jumped back after a good douse from above, troubled trees may not rebound.
Although I scheduled this segment weeks ago, a recent viewer question prompted some of the conversation. Like many of us with older homes, Jaimi has Arizona ash trees that were planted 40 – 50 years ago by the original owners, and are getting mighty scary.
April suggests options to replace dead trees or to plant for the first time. If you have a tree on its way out, she also recommends installing a sapling to take its place down the road.
Get TreeFolks’ complete list of recommended trees, info on free sapling days, workshops, tree care resources, and how to join their volunteers to reforest Austin and Bastrop.
Since Texas Arbor Day is the first Friday in November, it’s a great time to plant! Check out this diagram to start your new tree off right.
Join TreeFolks on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. for hands-on tree planting and mulching. Bring the kids to make seed balls and get tree tattoos. Plus, there’s live music and lunch!
One thing they’ll demonstrate is how to mulch a tree. Do you mulch to the drip line?
Now, if you’ve seen this technique around “professional” landscapes, don’t do it!
Daphne explains why “volcano” mulching can end your tree’s life prematurely.
Would you like to grow vegetables on a balcony or patio? Well, winter crops like lettuce, kale and chard work just fine in containers! Trisha shows how to combine fragrant and edible flowers and food. You can even plant in trugs, old wheelbarrows and old nursery pots, jazzed up with a little paint!
Our Viewer Picture of the Week features succulents in charming upcycled containers. Gardener Tammy recycled a $5 “milk can” from Goodwill and a rusted soap dish.
Despite hot weather and drought, Gary’s garden is still looking good on his no-water regimen!
Thanks for stopping by! See you next week, Linda