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West Phoenix Reforestation

 
Posts: 36
Location: phoenix, az
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forest garden trees greening the desert
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now fire restoration too
4 ac. in west phoenix
Acquired to do agricultural testing, permaculture, dryland farming, natural regenerative management, oasis eco-machine testing, soil building and restoration.
Original plans changed due to fire in summer of 2020. The lot was kind of thick through the wash with palo verdes and acacias and somewhat sparse on the tops, just chaparral and cholla mostly and there was about 22 saguaros in random locations. Before fire, I could barely see across lot, from any corner basically. After fire, i can see every corner marker from any of them. Cleared the lot bare almost. Over half saguaros gone, probably close to 80% of trees that were there are gone and majority of the chaparral.
After seeing it like this I could get a better idea of earthworks I could do.  I also didn't have to "worry" about saving this or that. The firemen did that for me by burning everything, yayyyy! The main "problem" of cholla blending in with all ground cover had been addressed or burnt( it was everywhere.. fkn rats drag it all over the place) .  
I was going to add trees under and around existing trees and saguaros. Possibly have the trees grazed by goats before I planted young ones. Also, add multiple small dams in wash around good trees already there and plant more fruiting trees in shaded areas. I was going to let the plant somewhat guide where I put dams and swales to keep as many plants alive as possible.
After lot was burned, i walked and clearly saw a need for dams at every wash intersection, instead of numerous small ones, 4-5 larger ones and a few higher smaller ones. And swale above previous growth height to saturate previous treed area. I planted some trees under a few burned trees already and they do very well, maybe soil and shade combo. So I want to include those areas below a high swale now.
Heres a pic of ideas I had before really spending time on the property and seeing elevations in person and conditions. and some plant location were assuming there would be water or future water
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Posts: 143
Location: Southern Colorado, 6300', zone 6a, 16" precipitation
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My two cents are to control erosion immediately to keep that loose ash from washing away. If you can't get earth movers in time then do loose rock stone check dams.

Also, how many swales are you planning on making? How deep and how far apart?

My other question is whether the ash would make your soil alkaline?
 
author & steward
Posts: 6807
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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After 15 years of building and observing water management structures in the desert, my feeling is that a multitude of small structures is much more valuable than a few large ones. Small structures high up are more valuable than large structures in the lowlands. Waffling in the highlands is amazing.

Think single-layer-deep rock check dams instead of ponds. Any constructed ponds are likely to fill with sediment during the first thunderstorm downpour. When the small check dams fill with sediment, build another single layer check dam on top of it.

That place where the water is running off the roadway? It's likely to be the most productive water harvesting location for water stored as liquid. Roads tend to shed water more quickly and completely than ecosystems.

 
Skyler Weber
Posts: 143
Location: Southern Colorado, 6300', zone 6a, 16" precipitation
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Joseph, could you describe waffling please?
 
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cool beans

can wait to see the improvements

i live in the phoenix area, with various ..... ummm .... "projects" going on in pinal and apache county

============

what is an "eco-oasis machine" ?
 
pollinator
Posts: 1541
Location: Zone 6b
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For those living there, how are things growing in the current drought?  I've considered moving that direction, but worry about the lack of water.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3847
Location: Marmora, Ontario
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Skyler Weber wrote:Joseph, could you describe waffling please?



That's when politicians heel-drag and flip-flop, isn't it?

I would love to see the technique for this, but if I were to venture a guess, it would involve pocking highlands with regular depressions designed to hold water long enough to soak it in, and to moderate the force of descending water in high-flow events. I bet that would all act as some very interesting near-alpine ephemeral wetlands. Fascinating potentials.

-CK
 
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Start by planting trees. Start with the west side of any property cause it will create a good afternoon shade for anything that will be planting in the east of the property in the long run. Plant some very drought tolerant trees such as black locust, mulberry, blue elderberry. These native trees will also fix nitrogen allowing grass and other shrubs to grow in the future. Protect the tree trunks of all young tree seedlings cause critters will kill all tree seedling by chewing the trunks. Water all trees in the first three years. Then you are ready to go.
 
jer ander
Posts: 36
Location: phoenix, az
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Yeh, I put a few piles of burnt tree debris in the wash to collect silt. then did a few larger check dams already. more to infiltrate water than ash control. The entire area was burned.
I want 2 to 4 swales from where it starts to drop into the wash and the distances will be different. and the soil here is already alkaline.
 
jer ander
Posts: 36
Location: phoenix, az
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:After 15 years of building and observing water management structures in the desert, my feeling is that a multitude of small structures is much more valuable than a few large ones. Small structures high up are more valuable than large structures in the lowlands. Waffling in the highlands is amazing.

Think single-layer-deep rock check dams instead of ponds. Any constructed ponds are likely to fill with sediment during the first thunderstorm downpour. When the small check dams fill with sediment, build another single layer check dam on top of it.

That place where the water is running off the roadway? It's likely to be the most productive water harvesting location for water stored as liquid. Roads tend to shed water more quickly and completely than ecosystems.



Yes, doing all. I started raking small rock berms on hillsides and theres a few smaller rock dams through the wash. I want to get check dams done first, because alot of water is passing through when it does rain. and neighbor has backhoe. I was thinking of coming behind with a skidsteer when bulk moving is done. A definitely putting some at all roadway runoffs
 
jer ander
Posts: 36
Location: phoenix, az
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Arthur Hau wrote:Start by planting trees. Start with the west side of any property cause it will create a good afternoon shade for anything that will be planting in the east of the property in the long run. Plant some very drought tolerant trees such as black locust, mulberry, blue elderberry. These native trees will also fix nitrogen allowing grass and other shrubs to grow in the future. Protect the tree trunks of all young tree seedlings cause critters will kill all tree seedling by chewing the trunks. Water all trees in the first three years. Then you are ready to go.



That was the first thing. But I started in the wash, about a foot from the bottom with mesquites and some invasive aulstarlian tree. I started some honey locust from seed a week ago. I put a mulberry in the wash bottom this winter. Ill check elderberry, but i have a lot of trees and some cactus already, just waiting for rain
 
jer ander
Posts: 36
Location: phoenix, az
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Here's how it looks now, just the trees already in and some dams. Went to see if it rained there, but no. bad language in video

a bunch of ironwoods going in towards end of summer
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ironwood and others 4/9/21
ironwood and others 4/9/21
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3/28/21 castor planted. its in video for reference
3/28/21 castor planted. its in video for reference
 
Mikhail Mulbasicov
Posts: 76
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I'm jealous of all of your rocks and deadfall from the fire.   Great resources to have !!!.
(my site has zero rocks/stones).

Our sites aren't that remote, so bringing in mulch really isn't a problem .... but you could crush up and use all of branches for coarse mulch.
The problem I have (and see) with typicall wood chips and straw is it blows around (off site even, lolz).
Quails and other animals kick them around and what not.

Heavier branches and large stems/twigs don't move around, and can hold/protect finer material underneath.

I like what you've started here.

Also, I think what I've learned is I'm going to shift from planting small seedlings (say 10"-15" tall), over to planting taller more mature tree-lings ....maybe 18" to 30" tall.   I think that will help with surviving the animals and bugs.   I had a pack of red ants complete denude a small baby mesquite.   The quicker thise small trees get to say 4' tall, they'll be out of height for rabbits and those ground squirrel things....

I can foresee after monsoons, it may not pay to plant unless one knows a wet winter is coming ... so I can see a build-up of seedling inventory at the house, growing more mature and waiting to be planted.  Will require shifting stuff into larger containers though.
 
jer ander
Posts: 36
Location: phoenix, az
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2 good storms made it almost a week apart from each other and the dams had water for almost 2 weeks. Now there's a lot of small trees that have sprouted too. Sure the wildlife will thin them out. I need to get more area protected from the rabbits.
I'm thinking of which trees will be able to sit in the water that long when it happens. For trees lower in wash. Wasn't going to put anything in the bottom, just around it
I have eucalyptus, desert willow, sycamore, jujube, mulberry, date palms, carob, hackberry, mesquite, ironwood, river tamarind, pecan and others
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7/25 after first decent rain
7/25 after first decent rain
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7/25
7/25
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a foot or so of dirt on top of serious caliche/ lime-crete looking shelf
a foot or so of dirt on top of serious caliche/ lime-crete looking shelf
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7/31 after second decent rain
7/31 after second decent rain
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7/31
7/31
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7/31
7/31
 
jer ander
Posts: 36
Location: phoenix, az
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I've gotten a lot of trees in the ground, the main water catchment areas built up and some rips in the top for swales later.
The grasshoppers are very busy out there. They're picking which plants to browse. I heard they only eat plants that are weak, lacking nutrients/ soil life or ph is off. They're eating the smaller palms to sticks, lol. They've only focused on a few trees, even though there's another of the same tree 10 feet away. Makes me think the spots the trees they're browsing on need improvement over the trees that aren't getting eaten.
I put bird feeders up today. also working on a neem application
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rip lines on top section for swales later
rip lines on top section for swales later
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pollinator
Posts: 231
Location: Australia
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home care building woodworking
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Hey,

So I think you Probably might have thought about these things,

But creating shade over the water catchments to reduce evaporation,

Houses for birds, and ground bees,

Species, mulga, acacia, baobab, pig face,


Covering the ground with non vegetative stabilisation and vegetative stabilisation to prevent wind erosion with wind breaks, and fences similar to the designs seen in mining.

Mulch traps/ humus pits.

wicking pots,

Harvest flies,

Shade cloth gardens,

Greenhouse, aquaponic, solar powered.

Worm farms,

Grey water harvesting, reed beds,

Build with mud brick,

Condensation trap animal shelters,

Subsoil irrigation,

Seed bombs,

Shade created from vine growing species,

Biomass accumulators,

chickens,

Residue crops.

stone mulch,














 
Posts: 70
Location: Colorado Springs, Zone 6a, 1/8th acre city lot.
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A couple years ago when I was looking at open land on the plains one of my big plans was to set up snow fence as a temporary windbreak/snow trap to help me get a living windbreak growing. Though I never priced it. For that matter it or any fence would catch blowing debris like tumbleweeds. Mulch traps are one of my new strategies.

I thought you might have alluded to it but fencing to protect the trees that are germinating seems like a good idea.

Would raptor roosts help any with controlling rabbit pressure? I was initially thinking a dog but it doesn't sound like you're living on site.
 
jer ander
Posts: 36
Location: phoenix, az
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Daniel Kaplan wrote:A couple years ago when I was looking at open land on the plains one of my big plans was to set up snow fence as a temporary windbreak/snow trap to help me get a living windbreak growing. Though I never priced it. For that matter it or any fence would catch blowing debris like tumbleweeds. Mulch traps are one of my new strategies.

I thought you might have alluded to it but fencing to protect the trees that are germinating seems like a good idea.

Would raptor roosts help any with controlling rabbit pressure? I was initially thinking a dog but it doesn't sound like you're living on site.



Hey, yes I've looked at those black mesh ones with the wood stakes. I'm still considering those for the trees higher on the hills. I'm currently doing thick rock mulch with branches underneath
Definitely need to protect germinating trees, but I'm slowly fencing off more areas.
Working on raptor post, but currently feeding small birds to help eat grasshoppers. There's wild pigs, rabbits, cows, goats, deer, rats, weird ferret looking things and 3 days ago I almost hit some bodies emu that got out. Working on fencing
 
jer ander
Posts: 36
Location: phoenix, az
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found cheap straw close to my house. also got some drone pics. i highlighted the rip lines and the front of check dams
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just drew in paintbrush quickly
just drew in paintbrush quickly
 
pollinator
Posts: 4715
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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jer, is any of the land around you for sale? maybe next to that hill in the background? Might be a fun place to get some permies neighbors ?
 
Posts: 40
Location: AZ
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Wow I'm impressed. What are you going to do about watering the trees if it doesn't rain. I'm in Arizona too and we get rain maybe 4 times a year. I dont count sprinkles. lol  Does your area get more rain then that?

I would love to see an update in the summer.
thanks for sharing
 
jer ander
Posts: 36
Location: phoenix, az
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Cj Costa wrote:Wow I'm impressed. What are you going to do about watering the trees if it doesn't rain. I'm in Arizona too and we get rain maybe 4 times a year. I dont count sprinkles. lol  Does your area get more rain then that?

I would love to see an update in the summer.
thanks for sharing



I'm close enough to water trees that need help and I water new plantings 1gal. a week for a couple of months in summer. Then every 2wks when established. My main plan is to plant drought tolerant trees low in the wash so they can tap into the middle. After over a year of no rain is when i started planting trees, also after the fire too. there was moisture almost a foot down in the middle of the wash.
 
pollinator
Posts: 146
Location: Sonoran Desert, USA
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Congrats on your project, it looks like it'll be a lot of fun!

So, most of the info I have that might be of use involves smaller specifics and might be more along the lines of 'might be good to research,' but I hope it can help!

First thing: the saguaros. I would highly recommend that you do not dig in around the saguaros if you can help it, if you want them to survive and thrive. They have a very wide root spread - the roots spread out from the cactus for the same number of feet as their height, in all directions (so a 50 foot cactus has a 100 foot diameter total root spread), but it's only a few inches deep - usually 3-5 inches or so.

And the root system has nearly as slow a growth as the saguaro itself, so if the roots are damaged, it takes an incredibly long time for them to come back. A 4 foot cactus' 8 foot root system usually takes about 55 years to grow, for example. So the cactus will have to cannibalize its own internal supplies to try and survive while its roots recovers, if they are damaged. And as we are in a huge mega drought, and may be for a number of years, this could be disastrous for the saguaro, you know?

...as an aside, this is why so many saguaros in cities, with little to no space around them to grow roots, are sickly and dying.  Modern landscaping is honestly terrible for saguaros. :-/

re: food production. Are you irrigating, or planning to have any gray water? If you are not, you may want to explore whatever information is out there about...I don't know what the official term would be for this, but basically, at what heat, and at what rainfall level, various plants will stop producing.  

I've run into this problem with a lot of desert permaculture plant suggestions before. I get lots of suggestions for what plants will survive a desert climate, but that is NOT the same thing as what plants will still produce food in the same climate. If there is not enough water, your plants will sacrifice making seeds for survival, for the perennials.

Heat can be an issue as well, if you are bringing in any non-native plants - even with shade, some desert plants may struggle with the temperatures + low humidity you are getting out in west Phoenix, if they aren't from a desert that is quite that hot, you know?

re: birds that eat insects - While providing food sources to attract birds sounds good, I would also consider nesting areas and especially shade if you want to attract birds to help keep insects down, as well as a water source if you can manage it, because the drought plus the rising heat, and its impact on plant growth and food sources, is quite literally killing them in AZ.

Small birds have a much lower heat tolerance than we do - the rising temperatures are more dangerous for them. So they were already struggling BEFORE the fire. But with a fire in your area, it's obviously killed off a lot of of the plant life that provided shade and nesting, not to mention food. So they will likely need more support than they might in a typical permaculture site, especially if they have to travel a ways to GET to your site, if the area around you is burnt and doesn't have as much to support them.

(a few brief news stories on the heat and drought problem for birds in AZ- https://www.forbes.com/sites/grrlscientist/2017/02/28/extreme-heat-threatens-desert-songbirds-with-death-by-dehydration/?sh=6fd540452d26

https://www.12news.com/article/tech/science/environment/mass-die-off-of-hundreds-thousands-songbirds-dead-in-arizona-us-southwest-caused-by-due-to-climate-change-issues/75-cc970585-336e-4852-b447-142c43a6abf0          )

re: the grasshoppers. You mentioned " I heard they only eat plants that are weak, lacking nutrients/ soil life or ph is off. "
Soooo...this information is kind of one of those 'in regular circumstances, this would be true' kind of things.

You aren't in regular circumstances though. One thing I think it's really good to remember is that it's not just your plants that  suffered from a pretty devastating fire - every other living thing in that area is dealing with it as well. Your area's entire ecosystem is going to be out of wack.

This is going to be a pretty unique situation, in terms of what your site is going to experience. Before, it was a permaculture site in an area that had a working ecosystem that your site would have...kind of just plugged right into and used, you know? But now, you don't. The fire trashed it. It's...it's kind of like moving into a house in a city, vs. moving into a house in a city that just survived a hurricane and has no working infrastructure back up yet.

It can be done, but I guess what I'd say is that your project may be more impacted by this than is obvious at first glance. There may be a lot of situations you run into that aren't going to follow what most permaculture sites are dealing with, which may mean that for conventional wisdom, 'mileage may vary,' as it were.

For example, anything that eats/needs plant matter - leaves, bark, roots, seeds, pollen, you name it - may be dead and gone or could be desperate and potentially on the verge of starvation because their food is, as you noted in how much was burned on your property, GONE. These critters are not just going to eat weak plants; they are going to eat everything, And if you plant a lot of plants, and the area around you is still devastated from the fire? Well, it's going to be like the plant version of the Field of Dreams: if you plant it, they will come.

And the predators of these plant eating critters ALSO got decimated by the fire. They may be too small in number to keep the grasshopper population down at this point.

Or something needed for them to survive/have babies/thrive in your area may no longer exist due to the fire, so they might be living in other areas until your area can support them again and they come back.

So basically, dealing with how messed up the fire has left everything is likely going to be an ongoing issue, because it's going to be added on to the mega drought that was already stressing the animals and plants, plus it's a desert, so it takes animals and plants longer to come back from stressors already.

So for example,  exploring what pollinators are still around may be a good idea. Like, most of our local bees are ground dwelling - how many of them can live through fires? How far do the local bees travel to find pollination sources and is that far enough away that the fire would have still impacted them so you won't be getting local bees for a while? How were bat habitats affected in your area and how will that impact pollination? How were butterflies and moths impacted by the fire? How is the local bird population after the fire - did it hit during nesting season, for example?

I have no idea what the answer to these questions is, obviously, but...yeah, I think it may be really helpful for you to explore that so you know what difficulties you may be facing. They are going to be really distinct, but honestly, I would think that the information you get from this process could be really valuable for others who might be trying to help areas that are also devastated by fires and other natural disasters.

Oh, and re: pests  as well - one thing that may be good to look out for is what trees/bushes you want to put in and how drought stressors impact your plants' natural protections (or impact the critters that provide some protections).

This was an issue in New Mexico about 10-15 years ago and is still a problem. The Pinyon pine there has a bark-beetle that can be a problem, but like with the grasshoppers, typically it was considered to only be a problem with unhealthy trees. However, the defenses healthy trees have to keep the beetle away turned out to be highly impacted by severe drought, and so when the drought started getting really bad in NM, the beetles absolutely decimated the pinyon pine population across the state. Between 40%-80% of the trees died, depending on the area.

And goodness, rereading my post, gotta say sorry; this post comes off a bit doom-and-gloom. I know it's more 'look out for' than 'this is good to try.' Let's just say that I have a lot more 'oops, screwed THAT up' experiences, so I know a lot of what NOT to do, or what to be worried about, and less of what TO do, sometimes.

Good luck with the site, and I look forward to seeing how it's going!!


 
jer ander
Posts: 36
Location: phoenix, az
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shauna carr wrote:Congrats on your project, it looks like it'll be a lot of fun!

So, most of the info I have that might be of use involves smaller specifics and might be more along the lines of 'might be good to research,' but I hope it can help!

First thing: the saguaros. I would highly recommend that you do not dig in around the saguaros if you can help it, if you want them to survive and thrive. They have a very wide root spread - the roots spread out from the cactus for the same number of feet as their height, in all directions (so a 50 foot cactus has a 100 foot diameter total root spread), but it's only a few inches deep - usually 3-5 inches or so.

And the root system has nearly as slow a growth as the saguaro itself, so if the roots are damaged, it takes an incredibly long time for them to come back. A 4 foot cactus' 8 foot root system usually takes about 55 years to grow, for example. So the cactus will have to cannibalize its own internal supplies to try and survive while its roots recovers, if they are damaged. And as we are in a huge mega drought, and may be for a number of years, this could be disastrous for the saguaro, you know?

...as an aside, this is why so many saguaros in cities, with little to no space around them to grow roots, are sickly and dying.  Modern landscaping is honestly terrible for saguaros. :-/

re: food production. Are you irrigating, or planning to have any gray water? If you are not, you may want to explore whatever information is out there about...I don't know what the official term would be for this, but basically, at what heat, and at what rainfall level, various plants will stop producing.  

I've run into this problem with a lot of desert permaculture plant suggestions before. I get lots of suggestions for what plants will survive a desert climate, but that is NOT the same thing as what plants will still produce food in the same climate. If there is not enough water, your plants will sacrifice making seeds for survival, for the perennials.

Heat can be an issue as well, if you are bringing in any non-native plants - even with shade, some desert plants may struggle with the temperatures + low humidity you are getting out in west Phoenix, if they aren't from a desert that is quite that hot, you know?

re: birds that eat insects - While providing food sources to attract birds sounds good, I would also consider nesting areas and especially shade if you want to attract birds to help keep insects down, as well as a water source if you can manage it, because the drought plus the rising heat, and its impact on plant growth and food sources, is quite literally killing them in AZ.

Small birds have a much lower heat tolerance than we do - the rising temperatures are more dangerous for them. So they were already struggling BEFORE the fire. But with a fire in your area, it's obviously killed off a lot of of the plant life that provided shade and nesting, not to mention food. So they will likely need more support than they might in a typical permaculture site, especially if they have to travel a ways to GET to your site, if the area around you is burnt and doesn't have as much to support them.

(a few brief news stories on the heat and drought problem for birds in AZ- https://www.forbes.com/sites/grrlscientist/2017/02/28/extreme-heat-threatens-desert-songbirds-with-death-by-dehydration/?sh=6fd540452d26

https://www.12news.com/article/tech/science/environment/mass-die-off-of-hundreds-thousands-songbirds-dead-in-arizona-us-southwest-caused-by-due-to-climate-change-issues/75-cc970585-336e-4852-b447-142c43a6abf0          )

re: the grasshoppers. You mentioned " I heard they only eat plants that are weak, lacking nutrients/ soil life or ph is off. "
Soooo...this information is kind of one of those 'in regular circumstances, this would be true' kind of things.

You aren't in regular circumstances though. One thing I think it's really good to remember is that it's not just your plants that  suffered from a pretty devastating fire - every other living thing in that area is dealing with it as well. Your area's entire ecosystem is going to be out of wack.

This is going to be a pretty unique situation, in terms of what your site is going to experience. Before, it was a permaculture site in an area that had a working ecosystem that your site would have...kind of just plugged right into and used, you know? But now, you don't. The fire trashed it. It's...it's kind of like moving into a house in a city, vs. moving into a house in a city that just survived a hurricane and has no working infrastructure back up yet.

It can be done, but I guess what I'd say is that your project may be more impacted by this than is obvious at first glance. There may be a lot of situations you run into that aren't going to follow what most permaculture sites are dealing with, which may mean that for conventional wisdom, 'mileage may vary,' as it were.

For example, anything that eats/needs plant matter - leaves, bark, roots, seeds, pollen, you name it - may be dead and gone or could be desperate and potentially on the verge of starvation because their food is, as you noted in how much was burned on your property, GONE. These critters are not just going to eat weak plants; they are going to eat everything, And if you plant a lot of plants, and the area around you is still devastated from the fire? Well, it's going to be like the plant version of the Field of Dreams: if you plant it, they will come.

And the predators of these plant eating critters ALSO got decimated by the fire. They may be too small in number to keep the grasshopper population down at this point.

Or something needed for them to survive/have babies/thrive in your area may no longer exist due to the fire, so they might be living in other areas until your area can support them again and they come back.

So basically, dealing with how messed up the fire has left everything is likely going to be an ongoing issue, because it's going to be added on to the mega drought that was already stressing the animals and plants, plus it's a desert, so it takes animals and plants longer to come back from stressors already.

So for example,  exploring what pollinators are still around may be a good idea. Like, most of our local bees are ground dwelling - how many of them can live through fires? How far do the local bees travel to find pollination sources and is that far enough away that the fire would have still impacted them so you won't be getting local bees for a while? How were bat habitats affected in your area and how will that impact pollination? How were butterflies and moths impacted by the fire? How is the local bird population after the fire - did it hit during nesting season, for example?

I have no idea what the answer to these questions is, obviously, but...yeah, I think it may be really helpful for you to explore that so you know what difficulties you may be facing. They are going to be really distinct, but honestly, I would think that the information you get from this process could be really valuable for others who might be trying to help areas that are also devastated by fires and other natural disasters.

Oh, and re: pests  as well - one thing that may be good to look out for is what trees/bushes you want to put in and how drought stressors impact your plants' natural protections (or impact the critters that provide some protections).

This was an issue in New Mexico about 10-15 years ago and is still a problem. The Pinyon pine there has a bark-beetle that can be a problem, but like with the grasshoppers, typically it was considered to only be a problem with unhealthy trees. However, the defenses healthy trees have to keep the beetle away turned out to be highly impacted by severe drought, and so when the drought started getting really bad in NM, the beetles absolutely decimated the pinyon pine population across the state. Between 40%-80% of the trees died, depending on the area.

And goodness, rereading my post, gotta say sorry; this post comes off a bit doom-and-gloom. I know it's more 'look out for' than 'this is good to try.' Let's just say that I have a lot more 'oops, screwed THAT up' experiences, so I know a lot of what NOT to do, or what to be worried about, and less of what TO do, sometimes.

Good luck with the site, and I look forward to seeing how it's going!!




Hi, thanks for sharing your thoughts and things to consider.
I try not to do anything around the saguaros. The trees I plant around them are 1gal and smaller. But, Ill keep that in mind for the future aswell
I am going to be collecting rain water and yes, there will be grey water systems too. So possibly drip irrigation planned for future. I'm trying to use mostly drought tolerant plants. What will work over time, I'll find out. There will definitely will be a lot of stress testing
There's not many places left for nesting onsite. About 5 trees and all the burned ones are breaking apart and getting smaller everyday. Lots of birds in area though, mostly quail and the lot next to me still has vegetation. There's also still tons of bees, butterflies and other bugs

 
jer ander
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got a lot of rain, I'll try to get some good pictures soon.
20221023_135317.jpg
looks great after alot of rain
looks great after alot of rain
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[Thumbnail for 20221023_135519.jpg]
 
master pollinator
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I can see a massive change underway and it looks to be in the right direction. Amazing what a little rain will do in the desert. Keep up the awesome work!
 
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