Monday, February 1, 2016

The elephant in the room

I was reading a piece last night about street tree watering on the eastern seaboard of Australia. It said they allow for 35 watering events a year. That's a watering every week and a bit.

Councils here in the west do (roughly) the same and the result is the picture on the left. What works in the east doesn't work here.

Why not?

Because we're growing trees in some of the most impoverished sand in the world. It's basically hydroponics, the sand just being a medium to stand the tree in. On top of that we're hot. Really hot. Perth summers can be merciless.

What this means is that if you only water once a week, no matter how well you mulch the tree and no matter how much water you pour on in one event, the sand will dry out again well before you return.

Watering at least twice a week is essential on Perth sand if we're to arrest the disastrous mortality rate of young street trees.

The problem is Councils aren't currently resourced to water twice a week and have to hope that residents will pick up the shortfall. The mortality rate suggests that's not happening.

What to do?

Well, here at Leafy Street, we believe we've found a solution. Watch for tomorrow's post when all will be revealed :)

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