I believe that establishing pioneers will be essential for 1) building organic matter and 2) establishing fodder for the wildlife to distract them from the pecans.
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Casie Becker wrote:I'm in Central Texas and everywhere squirrels can dig I am working on uprooting Pecan seedlings. Are you sure you need pioneer trees at all? If you can make a trip to Central Texas in late September you could easily gather thousands of pecans from all over parks and street trees. Drop these into holes just a few inches deep and see what sprouts. https://permies.com/t/560/14353/Reforestation-Growing-trees-arid-barren#729846 This man has been documenting his progress with this approach for years. If nothing else it could be a low risk addition to your current plans. The young trees are easy to identify and grow fast.
I grew up with a mesquite tree in the front yard. They can be beautiful trees that cast a lovely dappled summer shade that doesn't stop other plants from thriving. They also become very brittle in winter and shed super hard thorns that will punch right through the soles of shoes and tires of equipment. Once you have one established it won't be easy to get rid of. The one in our yard is nearly 200 years old by now and last I saw is still going strong. Outside of the thorns I think they are pretty close to the perfect tree. Just be sure you can live with the thorns before you commit.
Melissa Ferrin wrote:Definitely second Brad Lancasters, work--volume two of his book is the book you need for water harvesting earthworks. Geoff Lawton used to have a computer-animated video of using gabions in washes, I can't find it now, maybe he took it down as he has so many videos now. I live in a semi-arid region of southern Mexico, and I've also visited your region of Texas, and I think gabion would work well.
The main purpose of starting at the top of your land is that the goal is slow, spread, and sink water. You need to be very careful starting lower in the landscape as you may accidentally exasperate erosion. If you have not already done so, study Brad's books.
I love the idea of collecting pecans and just seeing what sprouts and what survives. Don't overlook mesquite which is also a useful tree, and Brad Lancaster is also involved in a group called Desert Harvesters which shares a lot of information about useful SW plants.
Shaun said, "It only takes one hungry deer or cow to set me back years. The extension agent suggested that I build cages, but that's nearly $30 per planting site.
Jd Gonzalez wrote:Elk, Javelina and...drug mules!