Saturday, January 23, 2010

I Give Up!



In the past week, we've received more rain than the whole of last year. Rain is always welcome, but this time, there's been too much of a good thing in too short of a time. The ground is saturated, and can't hold any more water, so it just stands. We will probably get more rain in the next few days, but the brunt of the five major storms to pass through is over. 





One bright spot in an otherwise gloomy week was a lone ripe tomato on my container plant. It was good--sweeter than the late spring tomatoes. This is the first time I tried to keep a winter tomato, and because we've had no frost, it worked out.




Standing water--no where else left to go. Today, we've had no rain, so it's starting to soak in a bit. The ground is boggy. I leave deep footprints wherever I step, (more work filling in when it dries) so I've stayed out of the yard. But, others have been out there....



The worst thing of all--two more huge Mesquite trees lost. The landscapers came today and made short shrift of the trees with their chipper. The cost? More than the cost of the trees when I purchased them five years ago. I've given up. I am not going to replace any of my lost trees or root-rotted cactus (if that happens.) Over these past five years, we've lost eleven of the original seventeen trees planted in the back and have two back there that are severely damaged. I should have gotten rid of the damaged ones, but they are doing ok--albeit grotesquely deformed. 

The reason these latest trees were uprooted is that when the soil is saturated, any wind gust at all will uproot shallow-rooted trees. We had a few gusts the other night in the 25 MPH range--not nearly enough to cause damage in non-rainy times.

I did add a Tipu tree in October, 2008 to replace one of the four Ficus lost to the 2007 deep freeze, and also added a Palo Brea in October of 2007 to replace a lost Willow Acacia. There ain't gonna be no more replacements!

In the front, we've lost five of the nine trees we started with. None down during this storm, though. The last storm split a large Palo Verde, but the other half is doing fine. The only problem is that the trunk is weaker because of the split, and the tree is lopsided, so it's not as stable as it should be. I'm not even going to think about next year's Monsoon winds and what they will probably do to this tree.

All this late winter rain is also going to bring rampant weed growth. I can't wait!

18 comments:

Claude said...

won't all this winter rain help bring some spring wildflowers? It's not worth losing your trees over, but still...

Aiyana said...

Claude,
Yes, I should have a good crop of wildflowers, mixed in with more weeds than flowers. Mid January rains seem to produce extra weeds--and they have to be eliminated very young as the tap root on some of them can go down 5 feet!

Julie said...

Oh, heavens, Aiyana! The rain looks so pretty under your bridge...but I understand your frustration! Let's hope something good comes out of all that rain!!!

Jean said...

I can't wait to see the good all that rain did for your plants! Your roses are lovely as always! Jean

Chris said...

I've never seen anything like the rain we had last week! 3" in Chandler. Crazy!

Jocelyn H. Chilvers said...

I'm so, so sorry about the loss of your trees! Saturated soil is really scary---it can lead to all kinds of problems. Will you consider replacing any of your trees with architectural features?

Desert Swamp Dweller said...

I'm sorry about your trees. What a bummer that the trees that do well around here have such shallow root systems.

Lancashire rose said...

Sorry about your lost trees. After I photographed some of the toughest looking saguaro I thought plants lived forever there. The weather is crazy everywhere. we are all lamenting the strange changes. For us it was terrible cold and the loss of many agaves, lemons, limes. I won't be able to replace them all. Spring flowers will be the reward for all the rain at your end. The desert will bloom in all its glory.

kate smudges said...

Yikes. I had no idea that you've been deluged with rain. I can understand why you're not about to replace the trees. It must be awful seeing them get damaged and not being able to do a thing about it. I hope the rest of the year brings less rain. (We got overwhelmed with snow about 10 days ago. Things are finally back to normal this week. I'm sorry for being out of touch. My plan is to get back to my blog. I am missing it.)k

Anonymous said...

Time to start thinking about water harvesting soil instead of gravel huh? Think raised paths and sunken mulched basins. Ohh, and I bet those Mesquites were Chilean? shallow roots and pruned to be top-heavy...not fit for this desert. Chin up...or move out :)

beckie said...

Aiyana, sorry this is such a late comment. I hope the rain has settled now and your yard is once again solid to walk on. Such a loss for you with your trees. It must be hard to lose them. Love the little stream under your bridge. I imagine you don't often get to see the water there. And that tomato looks yummy!

Hope you are doing well.

Andrea said...

Hi i am new here just followed your comments via jodi's. I am learning a lot of dessert culture. I didn't know that trees are so vulnerable in there, thought like the cactus they already adjusted with those conditions. I am so sorry for your lost trees. Here in the tropics even just a shrub is so sturdily anchored on earth and difficult to uproot. It is very interesting to compare experiences, vegetation and cultural practices. thank you.

NotSoAngryRedHead said...

I'm feelin' ya on the wet weather!!

I gave you a Sunshine Award: http://notsoangryredhead.blogspot.com/2010/02/sunshine-award.html

Dirty Girl Gardening said...

That's horrible that you are losing trees... bummer.

Dee said...

Your tree losses are so sad- I guess it is probably for the best that I've focused on smaller plants, and haven't invested in many trees. Hope things look up for you weather wise- I'm sure I've got a few cactus with soggy roots- I was away and not all my potted cactus were in a covered area.

kate smudges said...

Just checking in to see how things are going. I hope the rains have stopped.

Lythrum said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your problems, I hope that the rain stops soon and you can recover.

Jenn said...

You okay over there? You are awfully quiet...