Thread: Planning ahead

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Edgewood, New Mexico

    Planning ahead

    Hey guys! I have a question about life after death (Not me! My Trees!)
    I am planning ahead probably 70 years but I am worried about it now.

    When I eventually get a house, I want to fill the yard with trees. I live in Edgewood, New Mexico, zone 6. The soil is clay and drought is common. If I plant some oaks, maples and other trees and let them grow for about 60 years or more, what happens when I die as an old man? Native One-Seed Juniper and Pinon Pine have taproots over 50 feet long just to get enough water. When I am gone and no one takes care of my trees, will they die?

    I know adult trees in the wild don't have people to take care of them, but what will happen to non-native trees? Without me, what will happen to them?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    RE: Planning ahead

    That's why it's important to plant trees that are adapted to you climate and conditions.

    If the oaks and maples that you want to plant in your area require irrigation to stay alive, it's highly unlikely they're ever going to make it to old age because of the amount of resources it would take to provide that much irrigation as the trees grow older.

    Not to mention the ecological benefits of having wooded land would be offset by trees that require the consumption of lots of water to stay alive. It's akin to having a lush green lawn in the Southwest, just because someone wants a pretty green lawn.

    What I would suggest is that you check with your local agricultural or university extension to see what kinds of trees are adapted to your area and conditions of your land. You'll want to know the conditions of the land too because in your area, trees like willows and cottonwoods may only grow in places that water is present and the pines may only grow in the dry spots.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    michigan zone 5

    RE: Planning ahead

    I read your post and a desert oasis came to mind. I've been through the Nevada desert and never saw much more than a few cactus and the native trees you described. Of course you are in N.M. so you have a few options, If you have the space a nice pond will attract all those great species you have like roadrunners, bats, and turtles. If you have a slight slope you can pour a cement spillway which feeds a lower collection pond that pumps the water back up to the upper pond and your cement spillway can be covered with stone. It's best to have a water supply and an aerator pump or in the case of the stream system a pump with positive displacement. Running water is a wildlife magnet and supplying native berry bushes around the perimeter will bring in butterflies too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    RE: Planning ahead

    Plant native stuff. I Wish I could plant tropical hardwoods but not gonna happen in east Tennessee. You have wonderful natives out there. Use them.

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