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Finding new(?) ways to water trees in dry land and avoid fungus diseases....

 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1271
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
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I decided to share with you some of my conclusions....

I live in a dry place where nothing can grow without watering.
You can tell me about all sort of methods for greening deserts, at the moment watering is necessary.
It takes time to change a soil, the mycorrhyze grid and so on.
and orange and avocado trees are not naturally fit for this climate...

I was used to seen fungal diseases coming with humidity...
So what! I have never seen that much fungal diseases before!

Zucchini and vine are ill, but also orange and avocado trees get their own fungi diseases.
So, I hope to dry the bad fungi such as phytophtora (killing so many orange trees around here) without drying the trees.
It is so bad here that even the Canary palm tree is said to be threaten in the wild...
So I had to find some solutions.

-> First I got rid of the former sprinklers that were sprinkling even the trunks...
(I have been there for 2 years)
But I am not even satisfied with the dripping system.
Of course I put it as I had seen, so under the canopy, as far as the crown, and I just avoided the zone near the trunk.

But still, I thought it was going down through the superficial soil and wetting what should not be wet.
So I thought that the best time to water trees was when the weather was wet.
*** So first:
- Each time it is raining a little and not enough, I think we should profit for watering during rainy days!
(when nobody thinks it is useful because it is raining ...enough for radishes!)

Then, the trees have deep roots for drinking, and profit of the deep water long after the rainy season.
How can I fill these reservoir when they are empty?
How can I know where they are, deep down there?
How can I fill them without wetting the more superficial roots?

There is almost no answer to this... I suppose...
*** But still, I have found something that might be useful.
Here is the plan:
I want to chose some places, upward the trees (even if little up) and far enough, I mean outside the crown.
(this might be difficult where my trees are close to stone walls)
I want to dig 1 small hole per tree (may be 2?) and put a vertical piece of pipe in there, so that it does not refill too quick.
And water in the holes.

Actually, I have seen an orchard nearby, whose water system was installed long ago for young trees.
They were watered on 2 point with a "tiny tap"!
And they still do well years after!

So, I want to keep my trees dry enough in summer, out of the rainy season,
so that they do not catch more diseases,
but giving them enough water when they have drunk all the rain water.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1271
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
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And I have found a second idea:
Fungi can fight fungi.

So I want to put a lot of dead wood of all sizes near the trees, so that they rot, thanks to fungi.

I am still looking for the best way to place them.
If the logs are dry, fungi will not develop.
If they are too far from the trees, I do not know if it will work...
If I water them too near the trees, then I will also help the bad guys by harming the fruit trees.

So I wonder about the best distance from the trees...
And I guess I have to find the places with shade, so for example near my stone walls.

I cannot bury them because of the tree roots of course.
And I think the process needs to be aerobic...

Do you think these rotting logs can help fighting fungal diseases?
How do you think these logs should be managed so that the good fungi can live there?
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1271
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
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Another thought...
Trees also need to eat, and they do it with more superficial roots.
Avocado trees are incredible about sending roots to eat into compost humps.

I guess they cannot do this during the dry weather, so all summer here (5 months)
Is it enough for them if I feed them well from autumn to spring?

When they were watered with sprinklers (which is given for the best method for this specie), of course this wets the fallen leaves...
This tree is not caduc, but the diseases (and may be their natural process too) make the leaves fall regularly.
Of course, even after 5 hours, the soil was only superficially wet!
The leaves were very wet, and appart from the rotting of the leaves most of the water evaporated.
 
Morgan Morrigan
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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First, bury the drip line at least 8 inches down, so you are not watering leaves and weeds.

mix in charcoal, and add good fungi


(from the post about wood vinegar here.)

http://www.geocities.jp/yasizato/pioneer.htm
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1271
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
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Hello Morgan,
I cannot dig, the trees are already there....
I also do charcoal, thanks for reminding this.
But here gain, I do not want to bury.

And anyway, about drip system: roots end up INTO the holes.
Buried pipes cannot be checked out.

I find it useful to bury the long water pipes that have no holes.
- Protection from the sun
- Away from rat teeth (though they bite the smallest only)
- In case of fire

Thanks for the link, please note that they do not provide any practical tip to do it, only proofs that it works.
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1321
Location: northern California
42
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Sounds like what you are describing may be compared to a swale, or portions of a swale, which fill with water either naturally or artificially and then plume the water gradually downwards and downslope, eventually recharging deeper soil layers which the deeper roots of your trees can access. Adding logs, wood, etc. into the swales might provide an ideal place for them to decompose.
I too am puzzled by the prevalence of plant diseases in a climate I would guess to be inimical to them. Never lost so many plants to damping-off since I came to CA from the much wetter GA. I wonder if it might be due to gardeners' and homesteaders' encouragement of mulch and compost of all sorts, whereas the natural ecosystem in drier climates often breaks down high-carbon biomass either in the guts of ruminant animals or by fire.
 
Morgan Morrigan
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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you can dig, just do it in the winter.

tree roots come to surface for the easy water, and decomposing fruit.

dig a round "swale" out at the drip line, and bury some wood and charcoal. Wood can go in a radial (sun ray) pattern, doesn't have to be a circle, and better if it is not, prob.
That way you can mix in more charcoal, and not disturb the larger roots.
Angle the dirt "up" to the trunk, to force the water out to the perimeter.

take the dripline, and drill some tiny holes, opposite sides, every 20cm or so. If it is buried at the bottom of the swale, or under the wood, there will be fewer small roots going in, and the water will go into the ground, not into the air. If you add some live dirt from out in the forest, it should bring in some "tough" fungi too. If the bad fungi are too strong, it is because the good bacteria have been killed off, and can't help the good fungi. you need to get more deep water to em. They form a "shield" in the dirt. Still there, but seal off the air exchange and wait for proper conditions in spore form.

Burying means a LOT fewer weeds too.

You can do the outer swale first, and put in water line, then come back and do smaller radial digs and mixing, and shouldn't hurt tree at all if less than 20% done at any one time.
It wont hurt the tree for long if it has to send roots deeper, as long as there is water for them there.

If the roots try and plug up the line, you can add some copper sulfate from the swimming pool store (or sewer line root killer) to the water, and it will kill the roots in contact, but not the tree
Only do that once or twice a season.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1271
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
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Alder Burns wrote:I too am puzzled by the prevalence of plant diseases in a climate I would guess to be inimical to them. Never lost so many plants to damping-off since I came to CA from the much wetter GA.

I wonder if it might be due to gardeners' and homesteaders' encouragement of mulch and compost of all sorts, whereas the natural ecosystem in drier climates often breaks down high-carbon biomass either in the guts of ruminant animals or by fire.


YES! I guess it comes from the warm weather...

And yes I begin to think that trying to have a wet soil with an organic mulch is not appropriate.
But, what we grow is not what grows around in the wild either...
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1271
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
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Thanks Morgan, I understand better what you mean.

I will add pics whenever I can but most of my trees are quite close to the upper stone walls, and thus I cannot dig far enough from the trees!

I just ask myself if I could water at the upper level, and if the water would go down enough.
And safely for the walls, they have no cement.
And safely for the trees that are planted above, quite close to the wall again...
My concern is about how much water I will loose by damping all the way down to the roots...

Imagine my place as a large stairway... (not TO heaven but IN heaven ! )
 
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