Thursday, June 12, 2014

Planting Drought Resistant Evergreen Trees with the Groasis Waterboxx

The Groasis Waterboxx is the best tool for establishing trees in dry environments.  The Waterboxx funnels water collected as dew and rain to the roots of a growing plant.  When this plant is a tree, the roots can grow for up to two years straight down with the Waterboxx.  Once the roots reach underground moisture in the capillary structure of the soil, the Waterboxx can be removed and reused.  Because the trees roots have reached deeper capillary water, they will be able to utilize water from the rare but heavy rains that happen in the desert or other arid areas (like the Great Plains).  This is how already established trees are able to survive in deserts.  Also, because the Waterboxx only needs to be filled with water at planting, it is an excellent way to conserve water.

The Waterboxx can boast of incredible results with establishing trees, but the selection of tree species is also very important.  It would not be wise to plant a mangrove or willow in the desert, for example.  So what trees are drought tolerant and will grow well in dry environments?  Due to the large number of drought resistant trees in the U.S, only conifers will be covered in this post.  See drought resistant deciduous trees here.

Among conifers, pinyon pine is popular as a drought tolerant tree.  It is native to the Southwest, has edible nuts, and has a pleasant smell when burned.  It can grow well in areas of 9-15 inches of rain yearly, and of course will quickly become established with the Waterboxx.  To bear nuts, two or more pinyon pines will need to be planted near one another.  There is a pest called the Pinyon Ips beetle which will sometimes attack weak trees, so it is important that the tree become well established.  Of note, wildlife may be attracted to this tree.  The tree grows 20-40 feet at maturity.

If looking for a drought resistant windbreak, the Arizona Cypress is a wise and attractive choice.  Grown in zones 7-9, it grows 40-50 feet at maturity and with fast growth (3 feet per year) with good water conditions, like those established by the Waterboxx.    The Arizona Cypress generally needs 10-12 inches of rain yearly after establishment.  This tree can be vulnerable to fire and has a 30 foot spread, so proper spacing is vital, and hedges planted for windbreaks should be planted in a offset (or Z formation) double hedge with dead brush removed from the base. See how to plant trees to avoid wildfire here.

For slightly wetter areas or for those seeking a challenge in drier climates, the Loblolly pine is an extremely valuable tree grown in zones 6-9 from the Carolinas to East Texas.  If well established with deep roots and capillary water access with the Waterboxx, this tree may be able to survive and indeed prosper farther west, but no Waterboxx trials have yet been done there.  This tree is fast growing, has 35 foot spread, and can reach up to 100 feet in height.  This is one of the most important trees for timber in the United States.  This tree does begin life with a taproot which will develop much better with the Waterboxx.

As with all trees planted with the Waterboxx, it is imperative to plant young, small, bare root trees.   Not only are these trees inexpensive, but they also do not have malformed root systems seen with larger trees, nor do they have poor canopy to root ratios that cause transplant stress.  You will be amazed how much faster bare root trees grow than larger, potted, nursery bought trees.  Two trees can be planted per Waterboxx and the weaker removed after one year. Be the first in your area to begin planting trees with the Groasis Waterboxx. The Waterboxx is available for purchase from Dew Harvest in the United States. We would love to hear your comments below - to leave one, please click on "Comments".
Sources not linked above:

http://blog.arborday.org/drought-tolerant-trees-in-hot-summer-months/

http://www.treeutah.org/articles_droughttolerant.htm

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