Saturday, June 17, 2017

Once Won't Kill Them

Many of the tree planting projects have been in river bottoms along the Little Wabash, Elm, and Wabash Rivers, plus tributaries. Flooding often occurs after trees have been planted, and it kills the leaves. Trees hold back a set of buds and will usually survive, putting out new leaves after the waters recede. One Spring we had a second flood, and that will kill a tree planting project. There aren't any reserve buds left after two floods. This project is a 60+ acre planting near Crossville, IL, and it went under after the leaves were fully emerged this year. Click and enlarge the photo and you can see the new leaves coming out.

We see a similar mechanism with drought. If the trees can grow long enough to store up reserves and form buds for the next year, they will often survive a severe dry spell in August that kills the leaves.  One of my good friends once said that "We shouldn't worry so much about how we plant trees. Leave a field alone for ten years and trees will be all over the place." I do like to see good ones growing, so I still obsess over it all.

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