Tree maintenance during drought

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  #1  
Old 08-09-15, 12:32 AM
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Tree maintenance during drought

Hi everyone,

I live in So Cal and as everyone knows, we have a drought going on with water restrictions. I am fairly new to taking care of trees / plants and while racking the dead leaves I thought it might be best to leave them in the base. This way they can create a shade over the dirt and keep the water from evaporating as fast. Or is it best to clean everything out? I thought about putting down mulch, but I don't want to attract termites.

What are your thoughts?
 
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Old 08-09-15, 12:45 AM
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Clean it out...deep water every few weeks as allowed. I mean really deep. If you need to punch holes..do so. You need those roots to go down...not out.

What kind of trees?
 
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Old 08-09-15, 03:33 AM
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How old are the trees? Older established trees generally don't need to be watered like freshly planted ones.
 
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Old 08-09-15, 04:47 PM
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@marksr - The trees are fairly established. I water them about once every two weeks currently.

@Gunguy45 - they are citrus trees... oranges, lemon, grapefruit. How do you go about punching holes deep in the ground? Not sure how you put thin, deep holes around the base of the tree without damaging the roots... digging with a shovel will be a bit much wont it? The dirt around here is hard clay (San Diego area). Can you reference a good video on YouTube or some pictures?
 
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Old 08-09-15, 05:43 PM
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I've lived in SD, El Cajon, Nat City, and Santee over the years. I get the weather and soil.

There are several ways depending on how compacted and how deep.

You could possibly use a length of steel rod or re-bar and drive it in. Lengths of small diameter steel pipe might work as well and will pull cores of soil out when removed. That will help with soil compaction, watering and fertilizing Just pound it in 18" or so and wiggle around to loosen it.

They also make bulb augers in different sizes and just a few holes shouldn't be a problem. If they are well established a little root damage won't hurt. Not close to the trunk in any of these cases. Somewhere near the dripline. You can even pack the holes with something like peat moss or compost to help the soil.

There's also plenty of mulches you could use. They make ground rubber mulch that works well and cedar is normally readily available..
 
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Old 08-10-15, 09:44 PM
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Thanks! Just learned what a bulb auger is. That looks handy!

I dumped 2 trashcans full of pine needles from around my yard. Left about 3-4 inches clear around the trunk. What do you think?

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  #7  
Old 08-10-15, 10:07 PM
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Works for me. Pine needles do a pretty good job esp when they are free. They may increase the acidity of the soil though. Not sure about that since they don't really decompose.
 
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