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Drought

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ZoneTenNut

(Ray, Tampa @ Mar. 30 2007,19:50)

QUOTE
The developers should try to build around the existing trees instead of whacking it all down and starting from scratch.  It really pisses me off.

Ray,

So right. They do the same down here and what a shame. Some of the Cypress are many many many years old and they're just bulldozed down. Even if they left at least SOME of the trees.

Roger

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ZoneTenNut

Here's a visual showing just how severe this is getting around here. I'm straight west of WPB.

DroughtmapforSouthFlorida.gif

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spockvr6

(ZoneTenNut @ Mar. 30 2007,21:03)

QUOTE

(Ray @ Tampa,Mar. 30 2007,19:50)

QUOTE
The developers should try to build around the existing trees instead of whacking it all down and starting from scratch.  It really pisses me off.

Ray,

So right. They do the same down here and what a shame. Some of the Cypress are many many many years old and they're just bulldozed down. Even if they left at least SOME of the trees.

Roger

Its much easier to develop a "blank slate" so thats why they clear cut.

Its hilarious when they come in (as they did in my neighborhood) and cut down ancient Live Oaks in order to turn around and plant hundreds more of them (in baby sizes) after the fact.

I will give TarpoN Springs some credit though.  When the second half of my neighborhood was built, they didnt allow the clear cutting with the follow up replacement with baby trees.  They required the larger trees be kept and as such there were hundreds left.

But, if I want to be 100% truthful here, I am glad the builder clear ct my lot as I would not like all those giant Live Oaks on my small lot for the reasons Alan mentioned.  They are far too big of a tree for a typical new construction lot IMO.

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SunnyFl

(spockvr6 @ Mar. 30 2007,21:45)

QUOTE
But, if I want to be 100% truthful here, I am glad the builder clear ct my lot as I would not like all those giant Live Oaks on my small lot for the reasons Alan mentioned.  They are far too big of a tree for a typical new construction lot IMO.

Alan's post was Right On!  And in addition, the problem with Live Oaks on small lots - and I happen to love live oaks - is that frequently, due to the area taken up by driveways and house foundations, the tree doesn't have enough room for stable root development.  I see this right across the street every day.  That live oak is right next to the concrete driveway, and the house isn't that far from it.  I'm afraid, if the Big One hits, that house is toast.

A tree with adequate room for roots is a more stable tree.

So I can't figure out WHY no one plants, or has ever heard of, the Krugiodendrum (sp!) ferreum, FL's Ironwood, which is supposed to be a lovely small-scale NATIVE tree with excellent wind-resistance.  The pretty orange geiger seems like another great smaller-scale tree, and surely crepe myrtles are very valuable in this regard (and not water-hogs either).

As for lawn, I'm trying to eliminate as much as possible.  Most of the grass in my front yard has been replaced with palms, crotons, possibly-soon-to-be-gone hibs (more on that fiasco in the Tropical Plants forum), arboricola, bougainvillea, allamanda and crepe myrtles.  I'm trying to limit the water-lovers, as these awful droughts indicate a need for xeriscaping.

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ZoneTenNut

This drought continues to worsen. The worst I have seen in the nine years I've been here. In the last couple weeks the canals and ponds in the area have probably dropped a foot. I actually think we will see some of these dry up and I've never seen that happen before. My yard is showing signs of stress. Hoping for rain and soon. Here's an article from Sun Sentinel with more info. The big concern now is salt water intrusion into the water supply, so they are moving water closer to the coast to prevent that.

Worsening drought in South Florida

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SubTropicRay
But, if I want to be 100% truthful here, I am glad the builder clear ct my lot as I would not like all those giant Live Oaks on my small lot for the reasons Alan mentioned.  They are far too big of a tree for a typical new construction lot IMO.

Then all new construction shouldn't be the size of a small hotel if the lot is small.  There is a problem there in and of itself.  I'll take the pollen and all the other stuff Alan mentioned if it keeps my power bill down in summer...and it definitely does.

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spockvr6

(Ray, Tampa @ Apr. 09 2007,19:16)

QUOTE
But, if I want to be 100% truthful here, I am glad the builder clear ct my lot as I would not like all those giant Live Oaks on my small lot for the reasons Alan mentioned.  They are far too big of a tree for a typical new construction lot IMO.

Then all new construction shouldn't be the size of a small hotel if the lot is small.  There is a problem there in and of itself.  I'll take the pollen and all the other stuff Alan mentioned if it keeps my power bill down in summer...and it definitely does.

My house is far below average size (unfortunately) :(

But, I understand what you are saying.

Larger lot sizes also limit growth (and the associated demands on resources), but local governments are not quick to turn down tax revenue.  So, large expensive homes with zero lot lines have become the norm.

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spockvr6

In good news......

The rain continues to fall over here, albeit not extremely heavily.  But, it seems to be coming down at a rate of about 1/4" an hour.

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SubTropicRay

Almost 3/4" here today.

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ZoneTenNut

We are getting major rain down here also. FINALLY! So far I've had about 3/4 of an inch, but it is coming down hard and looks to be a large drenching storm. Nothings puddling though. The ground is so dry, it is just soaking it up like a sponge. This will go a long way to breaking or at least minimizing this drought. I saw on the radar some very large and heavy storms just north of Lake O. This will really help replenish the falling lake levels. Its a great day in Florida!!!!   :D

Roger

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Eric in Orlando

(SunnyFl @ Mar. 31 2007,18:48)

QUOTE

(spockvr6 @ Mar. 30 2007,21:45)

QUOTE
But, if I want to be 100% truthful here, I am glad the builder clear ct my lot as I would not like all those giant Live Oaks on my small lot for the reasons Alan mentioned.  They are far too big of a tree for a typical new construction lot IMO.

Alan's post was Right On!  And in addition, the problem with Live Oaks on small lots - and I happen to love live oaks - is that frequently, due to the area taken up by driveways and house foundations, the tree doesn't have enough room for stable root development.  I see this right across the street every day.  That live oak is right next to the concrete driveway, and the house isn't that far from it.  I'm afraid, if the Big One hits, that house is toast.

A tree with adequate room for roots is a more stable tree.

So I can't figure out WHY no one plants, or has ever heard of, the Krugiodendrum (sp!) ferreum, FL's Ironwood, which is supposed to be a lovely small-scale NATIVE tree with excellent wind-resistance.  The pretty orange geiger seems like another great smaller-scale tree, and surely crepe myrtles are very valuable in this regard (and not water-hogs either).

As for lawn, I'm trying to eliminate as much as possible.  Most of the grass in my front yard has been replaced with palms, crotons, possibly-soon-to-be-gone hibs (more on that fiasco in the Tropical Plants forum), arboricola, bougainvillea, allamanda and crepe myrtles.  I'm trying to limit the water-lovers, as these awful droughts indicate a need for xeriscaping.

Southern Live Oaks are often too large of a tree to plant in the average size lots that they are building on. 2 excellent alternatives are the Sand Live Oak, Q. geminata, and Myrtle Oak, Q. myrtifolia. Both are FL natives, evergreen, growing only 20-30ft tall. They are smaller versions of the SLO. Too bad not many nurseries grow and carry them or landscape artichitects/designers sepc them out. They are also pretty wind resistant. Plus, SLO are being too overly planted, monocultures are being created which is not a good thing if a super pathogen ever invades.

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Scott

I lived in Port Richey from 1991 - 1996. It sure rained alot during those years (thinking as one from L.A.) At times it would flood. I remember the storm of the century coming ashore less than a mile from the house and throwing the neighbors roof in our yard.

That drought map is really surprising considering how wet and moist it always was.

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ZoneTenNut

Scott,

It is surprising just how dry things really are here. I know for those living in water starved areas, even our yearly totals in a drought sound pretty good, but here, with everything used to alot of rain, it is a real problem. After I moved back to SoFlo, it rained just about everyday for 3-4 months. You'd dig a hole and hit the water table about 12 inches down. Very wet.

On the bright side, much of the peninsula got much needed rain yesterday. I tallied 1 1/2 inches, so althought not a drought breaker, extremely helpful.

Roger

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Jeff Searle

We received 1.8 inches last night at the nursery. Wow, was that nice! :D  Keep it coming.

Jeff

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ZoneTenNut

Don't know about other parts of Florida, but we are now on Phase two water restrictions, which means watering is allowed only twice a week. There's a 60% chance of rain tomorrow, so hopefully we'll get some. Two days a weeks is really going to be tough on the landscape, with the highs getting close to 90F on a regular basis now.

Roger

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Daryl

We've just been forced onto Level 5 restrictions...we can water plants by bucket 3 nights a week. No other water is to be used outside the house. We are only allowed to consume 140 litres of water per person, per day..thats about 37 gallons per person per day...including toilet flush, shower, laundry, dishes etc...think about that one..what a joke!

Here is the front part of my property which gets no water whatsoever. We normally get enough rain through the year to keep the grass reasonably green. We had some good rain in February, but not a drop in January or March (or april so far)..so much for summer rain! The grass on the left of the driveway is Bermuda (couch) grass. The grass on the right is Qld Blue.

drought1.jpg

regards,

Daryl

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SubTropicRay

Ouch Daryl.  The word parched comes to mind.  Hopefully, the situation will improve soon.

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ZoneTenNut

Daryl,

O.K. I'll quit complaining. You guys are going through a much worse drought. Hope you get some serious rain and soon. Will your grass come back with rain? It sure looks pretty fried.

Roger

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alex_7b

I knew earlier that we were headed for a drought. All the storms moved too far north before turning east. Now, in the Atlanta metro area, we can only water 12AM to 10AM alternate days.

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Tyrone

(Daryl @ Apr. 17 2007,05:49)

QUOTE
We've just been forced onto Level 5 restrictions...we can water plants by bucket 3 nights a week. No other water is to be used outside the house. We are only allowed to consume 140 litres of water per person, per day..thats about 37 gallons per person per day...including toilet flush, shower, laundry, dishes etc...think about that one..what a joke!

Here is the front part of my property which gets no water whatsoever. We normally get enough rain through the year to keep the grass reasonably green. We had some good rain in February, but not a drop in January or March (or april so far)..so much for summer rain! The grass on the left of the driveway is Bermuda (couch) grass. The grass on the right is Qld Blue.

drought1.jpg

regards,

Daryl

Daryl,

You are living a nightmare!!!!!

Elders weather predicts that your area of SE QLD will get above average rainfall from about May to the end of the year. I hope they're right.

We got 40mm of rain on Sunday night which is our total April average rainfall and it  put about 5 Gigalitres into our catchments, but we're still behind and when you consider our totally dry subtropical winter we had, we need about 2 metres of rain to just replenish the water table. This winter will most likely be wetter and therefore warmer at night than last year.

For those overseas, our Prime Minister John Howard has said that if the Murray Darling River system doesn't recieve heavy rain runoff within the next 6 to 8 weeks, all irrigation along the river will cease. The Murray Darling irrigates all types of stone fruit, citrus and even cotton and rice fields, as well as vineyards. I'm not sure what percentage of Australia's agricultural production comes from this area but it would be somewhere around 50% or more. The Murray Darling is in serious trouble which will affect the whole country. Farmers are doing it real tough.

regards

Tyrone

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Bilbo

Its been a fairly dry winter here in Southern UK (I am on the South Coast - ha- almost in it!)

Its 100 yards down the road.

I have very great fortune in a deep clay soil which all the palms appreciate once they are acclimatised.

Regardez

Juan

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SubTropicRay

Still bone dry here too.

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SunnyFl

(Ray @ Tampa,Apr. 27 2007,07:24)

QUOTE
Still bone dry here too.

Same here.  What little lawn I had left is now dead.  And maybe it's due to these droughts that we're seeing more plantings that can take the drier weather.  Seems bougainvillea is even more popular than before - we're planting it too.

(Eric in Orlando @ Apr. 10 2007,17:37)

QUOTE
Southern Live Oaks are often too large of a tree to plant in the average size lots that they are building on. 2 excellent alternatives are the Sand Live Oak, Q. geminata, and Myrtle Oak, Q. myrtifolia. Both are FL natives, evergreen, growing only 20-30ft tall. They are smaller versions of the SLO. Too bad not many nurseries grow and carry them or landscape artichitects/designers sepc them out. They are also pretty wind resistant. Plus, SLO are being too overly planted, monocultures are being created which is not a good thing if a super pathogen ever invades.

Sorry I didn't see this post before but, yes, this is so true.  I've thought so all along - monoculture just isn't a good idea.  Here, it's even worse - one of the natives that's getting promoted is the laurel oak, a large, short-lived threat to buildings.  VOE.

And regarding the Sand Live Oak - I had mentioned this one before, but someone said that the problem with it was that it sent out runners - I didn't know it did, but even so, I think I'd rather deal with that, than with a poorly-rooted large Live Oak toppling in a storm.

From what I've heard, FL's native ironwood would be a great choice, along with crepe myrtle.  Both offer great wind-resistance and don't get so large as to threaten your house.  In the warmer parts of the state, might our native geiger be a good choice, too?

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steve 9atx

Houston is at 16.62", 3 2/3" over for the year so far.  It's been raining pretty frequently and evenly too.  I've come to the conclusion that the Nino/Nina cycles don't affect our rainfall that much.  Our drought cycle seems to be a much longer (like 40-year) cycle.  We haven't had water rationing since the mid-70's that I can recall.

Steve

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SubTropicRay

The City of Tampa has had two day or less irrigation restrictions since 1998.   The same urbanization that changed it from zone 9 to 10 has also put a strain of the aquifer and subsequent water supply.

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ZoneTenNut

Well the drought here in WPB area continues to worsen.  :(  

Saw some pictures in this mornings Sun Sentinel, of nearly dried up canals in Loxahatchee. People who have lived in the area for 30 years+, say they have never seen a drought this severe. We need rain in the worst way. There seems to be this swath in the mid section of the peninsula all the way from the West coast to the East, that is severely precipitation starved. The drought index down in the Miami area, just 60 miles south of us, isn't nearly as bad as up here. The official start of the rainy season is 5/21, but the last few years, it seems that it hasn't been starting till late June. Hope that is not the case this year.

Roger

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SunnyFl

(ZoneTenNut @ Apr. 27 2007,21:04)

QUOTE
Well the drought here in WPB area continues to worsen.  :(  

Saw some pictures in this mornings Sun Sentinel, of nearly dried up canals in Loxahatchee. People who have lived in the area for 30 years+, say they have never seen a drought this severe.

Wow, Roger, that's bad - canals drying up like that.  Awful to think it's the worst drought in decades there.  And it's no better here - went out this afternoon and saw that even the bougainvillea were showing drought stress.  Gotta remember to water them.

The D. fine-leafs are thriving (I'm thinking fine-leaf is going to be more of a "California palm") and the glauca is unfazed, but the others need watering.

Was supposed to do the mulching (from the other thread) yesterday, which would help a lot now, but didn't feel up to it.

Really discouraging to see how everything's getting so dried out.

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ZoneTenNut

Sunny,

We are tinder dry and it is the absolute pits. Just trying to keep things alive until the rains come. There are some very large trees in the median of Royal Palm Beach Blvd. and they have all dried out. I don't think they are going to make it and these are trees with a girth about the size of my waist. Real shame.

If your bougies are even showing drought stress, then you know it is bad in your neck of the woods as well. I'm going to have to look at adding one of those glaucas to my collection. Some of my more tropical palms that are water lovers, are really suffering right now. Its not only the lack of rain, but the low humidity with winds, also.

Roger

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ZoneTenNut

Oh, by the way, we hit 93.4F today so this has really contributed to additional evaporation, which continues to just suck the life out of everything.

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SubTropicRay

93 degrees is pretty toasty for late April.  I haven't been over 90F yet but it's coming.

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redant

I was kayaking down the headwaters of the Loxahatchee river 2 weeks ago. It was like paddling down a drainage ditch, I have never seen it this low. Gators where all over, not that they aren't always there but now the water is so shallow you see them all.

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SubTropicRay

Doug,

Believe it or not, Miami-Dade Co. is on the "wet" side of the drought index right now.  The entire southern third of the state is color coded dark red or orange and then Collier and Dade counties are green.  

Ray

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www.dadluvsu.com

Things aren't looking pretty...  Can't wait till we start getting our 4pm showers...

kbdi-mean-state.png

:cool:

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SubTropicRay

Sorry, it was Monroe and Miami-Dade Counties.

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ZoneTenNut

Bill,

Well that map about sums it up. BONE DRY in almost the entire state.

Please rain!

Roger

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www.dadluvsu.com

The difference between Monroe, Miami-Dade counties and those immediately to the north (Broward, Collier) is so drastically different...  There doesn't appear to be any gradation.  Maybe this is due to being the warm currents at the Straights of Florida bringing rain to the land?...  If that's the case, it would make sense to open up the lowlands to agricultural development by The Homestead-Miami Speedway.  And I am no advocate for any more development in Florida, so that is saying something...  But I'm not talking about building more concrete buildings, townhouses (they need to stop with the townhouses), and CVS's right across the street from the Walgreen's'...  I'm talking about more green things in Florida...  Surely the county won't have the same insight as me...  Ok I'm done ranting, inhale... exhale...  repeat... repeat...  :cool:

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NBTX11

Hey guys, the drought is OVER in TX.  I have had a Florida-like 19.17 inches of rain so far this year.  It just keeps raining and raining and raining.  If this keeps up we will have a record setting rainfall year.  Averaged out over the whole year, this would be nearly 60 inches of rain DOUBLE the normal of around 32-34 inches.

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TikiRick

Well we are on fire here in South Florida. Heck, I would settle for a tropical wave at this point to get some water in here!!!

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