Sunday, August 23, 2009

New Favorite Irrigation Head / Tree Inventory

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I wasn't nuts about most of our irrigation heads. Either the mist was too fine or the spray went too far or not far enough or the flow was too controlled or not controlled enough.

So we tried a couple of new (to us) flavors of irrigation this weekend, and I found one that I particularly like: the dripper stake. Unlike plain spaghetti, which can release too much water and sometimes wriggles around, delivering the water to the wrong spot, the dripper releases a robust but adjustable flow of water and is permenently pegged to the ground. Its height also allow provides better dispersal than a regular drip head or plain spaghetti. Low splashing and a heavier stream of water means less evaporation or drift. At the same time, the visible water output makes it easy to monitor the system as part of one's daily routine.

The dripper stake in action

Here's what it looks like fresh from the baggie. They come in 3-packs that cost about $4 a pop, which is a little more costly than I'd have liked, but for reasons of both plant health and water economy, I think they're worth it.

The dripper stake

I also finally replaced some of our mushroom bubblers with flower bubblers. These were a washout. We don't have sufficient pressure at the moment to get that umbrella of water I was looking for. Instead, the flower bubblers seep in exactly the same way as the mushrooms did. Moral of the story: 9 bubblers on a single zone is too many.

The long-desired but somewhat disappointing flower bubbler.

Tree Inventory
Last week I got some calipers from the TNLA Expo. I've been meaning to measure our young trees by height, but measuring their diameter is much simpler, and, besides, allows me to justify owning this nifty piece of plastic.

My calipers are a very flimsy rendition of this tool, posted by the Friends of Sligo Creek. They are demonstrating the correct way to determine the height at which to measure the tree's trunk: 5 inches up, or where the tip of the calipers reach when the tool is stood on the ground.

So here's the inventory:
1. Quercus buckley (Texas red oak) - 1"
2. Quercus macrocarpa (Bur oak--west side) - 1.5"
3. Tillia sp. (Linden) - .75"
4. Carya illinoiensis (Pecan--garage) - 7"
5. C. illinoiensis (Pecan--back corner) - 6.5"
6. Taxodium distichum (baldcypress--2/3 dead) - 2.75"
7. Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem' - 2"
8. Quercus polymorpha (Mexican white oak) - 1.25"
9. Chitalpa tashkentensis 'Morning Cloud' - 1.25"
10. Cordia boissieri (Mexican olive) - .75"
11. Quercus laceyi (Lacey's oak--southeast) - 7/8"
12. Taxodium mucronatum (Montezuma cypress) - 7/8"
13. C. illinoiensis (Pecan--by juniper) - 5.5"
14. Q. laceyi (Lacey's oak--gazebo) - 1.25"
15. Gingko biloba (Chinese maidenhair tree) - .5"

Not Measured (too big, misshapen, or unloved)
16. Melia azederach (Chinaberry)
17. Sapium sebiferum/Triadica sebifera (Chinese tallow)
18. Ligustrum sp. - mist house
19. Ligustrum sp. - pond
20. Ligustrum sp. - shade garden
21. Fraxinus sp. (Ash) - garage
21. Fraxinus sp. (Ash) - 10th St.
22. Juniperus ashei[?] (cedar)
23. C. illinoiensis (Pecan) - Ave. F
24. Quercus virginiana (Live oak)
25. Populus sp. (Cottonwood)
26. Lagerstromia sp. (Crape myrtle)
27. Celtis laevigata (Sugar hackberry)
28. Robinia pseudoacacia 'Purple Robe' (Black locust)
29. Quercus macrocarpa (Bur oak) - pond
30. Sophora affinis (Eve's necklace)
31. Sophora secundiflora seedling#1
32. Sophora secundiflora seedling#2
33. Sophora secundiflora seedling#3

* I am not receiving any remuneration from RainBird, Mister Landscape, or the Louisiana Nursery & Landscape association for product placement. Unfortunately. On the other hand, I'm not really endorsing RainBird or Mister Landscape over any other particular line of products. They're just what you get when you go to Lowe's.

**The notepad is loot from last weekend's TNLA Expo. I made sure to pick up pens and notepads from all the Louisiana-related vendors. In this way I express my loyalty for my native state.

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