Wednesday, February 29, 2012


NOT long ago, while watching a documentary about Aldo Leopold, who changed forever the vision regarding forest management in USA, after proving through research how the elimination of predators, in this case, wolves, destroyed not only certain habitats for trees, but for  fauna depending on them for housing and or/food.

Shortly afterwards I thought of the huge amount of information, facts, nomenclature  one has to learn, with tests to approve to get a certificate here or a tittle there.  However, non conformists gardeners are constantly looking to find evidence to the contrary. 

Read the information about trees below.  It is true in almost any place on earth. In tropical latitudes, things are a little different.

If you need a reference book on tree maintenance this is the one
Pirone's Tree Maintenance

John R. Hartman
Thomas P. Pirone
Mary Ann Sall 

Oxford University Press
page 50
Embedding themselves in the soil, the roots are able to hold the tree erect.  Trees tend to develop anchorage where it is most needed.  The tendency of isolated trees is to develop anchorage rather  equally all around, with perhaps a slightly stronger development on the side toward the prevailing strong winds.  The better protected a tree is from wind, the less it depends on secure anchorage and the fewer roots it seems to provide four such anchorage.

Soils in urban areas are usually different from rural soils.  Disturbances caused by human activities may result in a high degree of variability. Thus a tree planted at one site may be in a very different soil environment than one planted only a few yards away due, for example, to the presence of construction debris at one site and not another. Modification of the soil structure can lead to compaction and restricted aeration and water drainage. 

Probably the best way to improve the physical condition of the soil before trees are planted is to incorporate large amounts of organic matter. Such material not improves the structure of the soil but also increases its water holding and ion-exchange capacity.

The photos at left are significant.  One of the trees is about 20 years old growing in the concrete roof, while the young lad is about 3, in a metal drain.  I have seen more than one photo of  Ficus like monsters embracing abandoned structures in Maya temples and Anghor Wat, my favorite, for hundred of years ago.

What one never thinks about is that they all started as seeds, growing in cities, in what seems inhospitable surroundings.  Time proved everyjuan wrong. With Nature there is no text book. It does what she has at all times.                           

that is that


  1. Good post! Trees, cacti, shrubs, etc that volunteer from seed here are so much healthier than those that I plant from a container! While I pull up non-natives that can cause problems, I rarely pull up natives, unless they are in a place that ruinds the design.

  2. Well, here is different. That tree has been lucky. On most fences, any, vines for example, grow quickly and healthy. They provide privacy, absorb noise/dirt, beauty, nectar for insects/birds and housing. However people perceive them as dirty, unkempt...In return for their service, they get herbicides or the sharp edge of machetes, leaving the ugly metal fence, in plain sight.


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