Thursday, March 24, 2016

Compare The Pair (14)

These two trees live next door to each other in Kinninmont Ave, Nedlands and are of similar age*

First up, old mate Jacky Jacaranda. I probably don't need to say any more about him, do I?  Read this and this if you don't know what I mean.

And I probably don't need to say any more about Poinciana Perfect either. I've sung her praises here and here.

The point is, even though this post is titled "Compare The Pair", there is really no comparison is there?

Jacaranda and Poinciana are a similar looking tree but their performance in Perth sand is poles apart.

Yep, I think the prosecution rests, m'lud. I don't think I need to talk about this anymore other than urge Perth's Parks and Gardens managers one last time to please start using more Poincianas! It really is a no-brainer.

Actually, there is just one other thing. This comparison also shows how devastating turf grass is to young trees. The Jacaranda is in a well-watered situation but is still really struggling to compete with the grass. The Poinciana on the other hand is in a nice mulched bed and enjoying a near monopoly over any water and nutrients that come it's way. And doesn't it show! The single best thing you could do for the Jacaranda - other than pull it out and put it through a chipper - is spray out a 2m circle around it to remove the competition. It would improve almost immediately - especially if you mulched and fed it too. Meh, on second thoughts put it through the chipper, plant another Poinciana and save yourself a bunch of this.

* When looking at young trees, train your eyes to go to the "caliper" first - that's the width of the trunk just above ground level. Similar-aged trees usually have a similar caliper. It will also stop you being fooled by poor quality stock such as this and this. The height of such trees suggests to the inexperienced that they're getting "mature" stock but the caliper betrays that they're only just out of diapers. Give 'em a miss. You're (generally) better off going for caliper over height.

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