Joe Edmiston, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Director, asked that this project be made aware to all homeowner organizations to save the trees in the area’s parklands.
***To insure preservation, 17”of rainfall is needed or the trees may die and become a fire hazard. Per Dr. Newman, President of the Sherman Oaks Forest Canyon Homeowners Association and tree preservationist:
“Help Save Our Southland’s Beleaguered Trees!
Due to the now eight-year drought, the mountains of southern California are presently experiencing an unprecedented massive die-off of oaks, walnut, sycamore, and other trees in our oak savannahs and chaparral. A great many of the enormous and majestic oaks, for example, were saplings when Columbus discovered America. The magnitude of this loss – and the fire hazard it presents – is incalculable.
But those of us whose homes are contiguous to Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, or other parklands, CAN SAVE THE TREES WE CHERISH!
Lower quality garden hoses are relatively inexpensive. Estimate the distance of trees you wish to save and purchase the length of hose necessary. If the trees are grouped somewhat closely, purchase an oscillating sprinkler that will wave to and fro. If the trees are at some distance from each other, use a spinning type (OSH has a very low priced small spinner that you can connect several together with varying lengths of hose.) Plot them out and connect the hose to your garden spigot.
Ideally, we want to water the area under the tree canopy and all you need is some 4 inches of water to sufficiently get hydration into the root mass. In order to gauge the water level under the water pressure needed to cover the area needed, place a straight sided can or glass under the tree and see how long it takes to accumulate 4 inches, and you have the correct watering time.
If you do this 2-4 times a year, those trees WILL be preserved, and January, February and March are the best months to water the trees to add to the meager rains we are now getting. Yet, even with one or two waterings, my colleague, LA County Dept. of Agriculture, plant pathologist Jerry Turney states, will very likely save the tree. (Of course, you will want to employ these measures to your own trees on your property as well.)
I have been practicing this regimen for several years and have not lost a single tree – but sadly, a number of trees out of range have succumbed to the drought. But let’s all do our part to save as many of these botanical treasures that, at this time of dire need, rely on us. And like the flossing of our teeth, we don’t have to water all our trees – only the ones we want to save!
Arnold Newman, Ph.D.
Executive Director International Society for the Preservation of the Tropical Rainforest President, Oak Forest Canyon Homeowners Association (Sherman Oaks)