Thursday, October 17, 2013

Too much of a good thing means TLC for my Mexican olive tree...



We've had about 7 inches of glorious rain over the course of the last week.  Plants that were gasping in the drought are lush and full.  Plants are re-blooming and those that didn't bloom at all are now full of color.  It's been heartwarming to witness.

Rain water is considered "soft" water. Void of the chemicals found in treated water. Its also highly oxygenated and normally of a neutral PH.

Read more: http://www.physicsforums.com
One reason the rain has made such a difference because we've had so much of it.  It's also because rain water is so much better than treated municipal water because it is "soft" water that is oxygenated and has a relatively neutral pH.  (Unlike more industrial areas that may experience acid rain)

There have been a few casualties, though.  After the 6" deluge last weekend, I went out to inspect everything and discovered that my new Mexican Olive tree was lying down - literally.  At the end of a slight slope, the rush of water loosened the soil enough that the top heavy canopy and lack of well-established roots toppled the tree. 



I knew I had to act quickly -- I had no stakes and the ground was squishy with more rain coming.  So, necessity being the mother of invention, I pushed up the trunk with my back and used a sturdy  outdoor chair to brace it.  Then I used a roll of plant tie on the other side to keep it upright, tied around a neighboring tree. 



It's still working.  When the ground dries up it will clearly need to be staked for a while.  That will be at the top of my garden to-do list, because this tree has become my new favorite. 

The Mexican Olive tree, Cordia boissieri,can grow  to 30 feet tall and it has  large, dark green leaves and bold clusters of trumpet-shaped white flowers that are ruffled like crepe paper. It also has an attractive, structual trunk. It can't tolerate really cold winters, but it has been grown with success in Austin, when we don't have a winter like several years ago with 3 days and nights below freezing.  It is drought tolerant and attracts birds and butterflies with its bloom and fruit. 


 I'll keep babying mine along - I can't wait to see it in its full-grown glory.
Rain water is considered "soft" water. Void of the chemicals found in treated water. Its also highly oxygenated and normally of a neutral PH.

Read more: http://www.physicsforums.com
Rain water is considered "soft" water. Void of the chemicals found in treated water. Its also highly oxygenated and normally of a neutral PH.

Read more: http://www.physicsforums.com

3 comments:

Ally said...

I just bought one of these 2 weeks ago. I selected this tree because of it's status as a Texas native. However, come to find out, it's more of a native for South Texas, not really Austin. Do you have any thoughts on how cold it can get before I need to protect it during it's first winter?

Diana said...

Ally - I don't have a temperature benchmark for it here - I suspect that it's ok in a "normal" year - whatever that is. Meaning, it wouldn't have made it several winters ago when we were like the frozen tundra here. I've decided that my place doesn't get as cold as some parts of Austin and I could protect it for a while if I had to. It's just too lovely not to try - I'm sure it will look great in your garden. We'll just both keep our fingers crossed!

dryheatblog said...

Interesting measures after the rain...rocky soils sometimes take a while to allow rooting, but once they do, unshakable plants.

My guess is in ATX it will remain a dwarf tree with some damage in colder winters. A plant nerd in Harlingen told me they only can reach and stay at 20'+ down his way. Didn't stop the UTEP garden by me from planting one. With the qualities, sounds worth a special place in a landscape - can't wait to hear more on yours.