Palo Alto trees dying in greater numbers | News | Palo Alto Online |


Palo Alto trees dying in greater numbers

City cites drought as 'significant stressor' for local canopy as number of tree removals spikes

As the drought drags through its fourth year, Palo Alto's parched trees are dying in greater numbers, prompting city officials to expand watering services and seek help from the public.

From dead pines at El Camino Park to dying magnolias on Alma Street, the impacts of California's drought on Palo Alto's proud canopy aren't hard to spot. Over the past month, residents have used the city's reporting service 3-1-1 to bring attention to dying trees near Rinconada Pool and by the Cubberley Community Center athletic fields. And neighborhood message boards are starting to buzz about the topic, with residents sharing tree-caring tips on groups.

City officials have acknowledged that many trees simply won't be saved. So far in the current fiscal year, the city has removed more than 400 trees. In the prior year, the number was about 350. In eight of the last 10 years, the number has been less than 250 (in 2007, it was fewer than 200).

Because the city has about 35,000 street- and park trees (29,000 of the former, and 6,000 of the latter), the current fiscal year marks the first time that the tree removals make up more than 1 percent of the entire population.

"While it's not cause for immediate alarm, it surely does prompt some action and attention to this issue," city Urban Forester Walter Passmore said. "We feel like if this continues over the long term, we're going to have to have a much more significant response to the drought."

The issue has also become more urgent for the council, with both Mayor Karen Holman and Councilman Pat Burt recently bringing attention during council meetings to the drought's impact on the city's leafy canopy. Burt said he has heard from a number of residents and tree advocates that "a lot of our street median trees are appearing to be in jeopardy." He urged staff to get information out to the public about this trend so that some people can take care of street trees, even during a time of water conservation.

"We lose those trees, and it's going to be 50 years to get them back to that level of canopy," Burt said. "I think there's real concern that we may be in that situation."

During his presentation Tuesday, Passmore highlighted the immediate actions that the city is taking to address the drought's impact on local trees. The city is conducing what he called "rapid assessments" to identify which trees should get watering priority. Delivery of water will be increased to these trees so that they can get one or two waterings before the rains hopefully arrive in November, he said.

The city has also quadrupled the number of trucks currently delivering the water to parched trees. The city's sole water truck has seen its work hours extended from 40 hours a week to between 60 and 70. Another truck has been commissioned on a contract basis. Two more have been rented and staffed with operators, Passmore said. But even that effort will only allow the city to water about 7,000 trees per month, which is roughly 20 percent of the arborial population.

Engaging the public to help save the trees remains a work in progress. Recently, the city created a brochure about tree care that it has been distributing at workshops and put together and compiled a press release filled with tips. It encourages hand-water or drip irrigation rather than sprinklers and spray irrigation and advises people to water "gradually and deeply, applying water slowly and evenly to the tree's root zone." Mature trees can be watered about once a month, according to the city.

In their discussion Tuesday, Parks and Recreation commissioners acknowledged that local and statewide calls for conservation during drought complicate the effort to support trees. Commissioner Abbie Knopper called the report from Passmore "very depressing."

"Everyone has been told to conserve water, that 'Brown is the new green' and that sort of thing," Knopper said, referring to the campaign to let lawns die.

She urged the city to put together a fact sheet that can be easily distributed through message groups, informing residents that "trees are different than grass and the impact is much greater." Commissioner Deirdre Crommie also asked staff to do a better job informing the public about the problem and requested that Passmore post periodic updates about which trees are being taken care of.

Crommie, who lives in the Monroe Park neighborhood, said the trees in the eponymous south Palo Alto park are "in crisis."

"All the trees in the back of the park are in extreme distress, and it wouldn't surprise me if in four years they were dead," Crommie said.

Peter Jensen, the city's landscape architect, told the Weekly that the issue of supplying trees with enough water is also becoming a central consideration during municipal landscaping projects. Recently, the city removed turf from two planters at Kings Plaza, in front of City Hall, so that it can plant species that use less water. Though the city was able to save about 20 to 30 percent in water, it had to make sure that the new plants have a similar water needs to the amber and pear trees near planters, which get water through the same irrigation system.

It's important, Jensen said, to recognize the relationship between drought-wise watering of plants and making sure the trees still get the water they need.

"I think a lot of people are trying to do good and just turned off their irrigation," Jensen said. "But for some of the trees that aren't native, like magnolias -- those are the ones that are impacted the most."

Commissioner Jennifer Hetterley stressed the need to educate residents about "the importance of watering now" and not wait until El Nino, which may or may not bring heavy rains.

"Just because we're close to winter doesn't mean they can make it that far," Hetterly said. "It's really important that they get watered now."

Passmore agreed.

"We definitely need help from property owners," he said. "Even with all the supplemental actions we're taking, we're only going to take care of 20 percent of the street trees, maximum. We would love for people to step up and say, 'I'm going to help this tree through the drought,' and then hopefully the rains will help it from there.'"

Related content:

Volunteers complete tree survey, provide results to city

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10 people like this
Posted by DT North
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 1, 2015 at 10:48 am

We just had an out of town visitor commenting on how sad the trees are looking because of the drought, but if we put a hose on them it will just run off the hard earth. It would have to be at a constant trickle for a very long time to reach deep? 20/20 hindsight when the trees are planted they should have those pvc tubes next to them so you can direct the water to go deep? Any suggestions on the best way to manage this issue?

11 people like this
Posted by ralph C
a resident of The Greenhouse
on Oct 1, 2015 at 11:03 am

It's time to develop program to help homeowners establish gray water systems. Also to monitor and establish use limits on property owner who have "solved" their water needs by pumping from beneath their (and their neighbors) property. I'd think that lower water tables deprive deep rooted large trees.

10 people like this
Posted by Duv mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 1, 2015 at 11:06 am

You can purchase a deep root water attachment for your garden hose at SummerWinds.

61 people like this
Posted by YSK
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 1, 2015 at 11:11 am

Yeah, well Palo Alto, keep allowing basements to be included in new home construction. 72,000 gallons a day of water drained from underground aquifers DAILY into the storm drains. Not only draining from under the property being constructed, but from that of the neighbors too. ONE HOUSE alone drained over 8 MILLION gallons of premium gray water into the storm drain. All so some selfish person can have a basement. Now, the City wants US to increase our water usage and bills to water City owned trees. The City of Palo Alto can take away 14.5 five thousand gallon trucks worth of water a DAY from those construction sites. That would water a LOT of trees.

30 people like this
Posted by Emerson St
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 1, 2015 at 11:17 am

2133 Webster still has continuous water from two hoses running into the berm...

33 people like this
Posted by YSK
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 1, 2015 at 11:30 am

Emerson St: It's becoming glaringly apparent that the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many. Very depressing. Even after the issue was addressed on the news, the new basements continue being built, and millions of gallons of aquifer water are being spewed down numerous Palo Alto storm drains. I live on one of those blocks with the new hose bibs, almost NO ONE came and took the free water.

25 people like this
Posted by MSC
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 1, 2015 at 11:33 am

As much as I would LOVE for the city to remove those horribly messy Magnolia trees on my block, I can't help but think that all the groundwater that has been pumped down the sewer by folks building new homes with basements should have been reclaimed and used by the city to water city managed landscaping. Such a waste!

12 people like this
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 1, 2015 at 11:49 am

In our area, there is a lot of camphor tree death, much of it due to the natural life span of the tree. These were planted in the 1950s when the tracts were built. Please replace camphors w/ trees that are drought tolerant and longer lived.

30 people like this
Posted by Treehugger
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 1, 2015 at 11:58 am

So now we SHOULD water the trees in the street. Most people have stopped. It would be useful to have clear instruction go out to home owners.

I have to say, the city needs to also take better care of the trees that are in place and not just be removing them. My perception is that planning for large new houses does not seem to focus enough on the maintenance of existing street tree cover. Just one example: 4 - 5 large healthy trees removed as part of landscape improvement next to new house build for example on 221 Kingsley Avenue back in June. What are we thinking??

15 people like this
Posted by Penny
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 1, 2015 at 12:01 pm

I was saddened this morning to see the magnificent, mature Monterrey Pines around the Mitchell Park Bowl being removed. They are clearly stressed...and they were probably at the end of their life span, so I'm sure this was the only choice. However, the loud drone of buzz saws was like a funeral dirge.

I remember my children climbing those beautiful trees during concerts in the park. I remember enjoying picnics in their shade. A friend today shared with me that her favorite place to pray was at the base of one of those trees.

We have been blessed by their presence. I hope that new trees that can withstand drought will be planted there quickly.

32 people like this
Posted by jean struthers
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Oct 1, 2015 at 12:08 pm

One of the big problems is that most of the stressed trees are not native to this region. Monterey pines live in a very restricted habitat along the coast from Ano Nuevo to Monterey county. And the magnolias live on the East coast where they get 75 -100 inches of rain. same with the Liquidambers. The London Plane tree is a hybrid from England and so on. We may be in for long droughts in the future and should be planning for it. PLANT NATIVES. And please don't waste drinking water trying to save these non native trees. They will recover in the Ei Nino or they wont.

27 people like this
Posted by ForestsForever
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 1, 2015 at 12:17 pm

"trees are different than grass and the impact is much greater."

Can you imagine Palo Alto with 90% of its trees gone? Or even just 50%? Have you seen pictures of towns in the midwest before and after the Dutch Elm disease struck? And how still now they are barren by comparison?:

In 50 years the climate may have changed sufficiently that Palo Alto will not be able to sustain the tree canopy that is an essential part of what living here is. But until we know that we need to do everything possible to assist our trees through this period. This is one of many issues that requires long range planning and commitment. Buildings may burn down; bridges washed out. They can be rebuilt. But we cannot "rebuild" our tree canopy if it dies out. It will take 30-50 years.

18 people like this
Posted by Richard
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 1, 2015 at 12:23 pm

The tree service people, about 6-7 years back and prior, did a TERRIBLE job at tree trimming - they went after the medium size branches so the Ash trees on Louis all look spiny. We were talking to a real Arborist at that time for our tree, and he said that the trees will suffer because the structures have been weakened and all sort of problems will result.

I am tired of City Clowncil digging up roads repeatably, putting lights at Charleston/Louis where no resident wants them etc. Meanwhile, 20 years later, we still do not have fiber to home. Thank you Palo Alto Clowncil members.

41 people like this
Posted by No Grey 4 Trees
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 1, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Grey water is actually bad for trees and woody plants/bushed/shrubs. Well water or aquifer water is okay; recycled may be okay if there is no salt or soap residue.

Funny how the city won't let us have professionals trim our street trees, only THEIR chosen ones can do it. The reason they give is that the trees belong to the city. But NOW they want the homeowners to water the city-owned trees!

7 people like this
Posted by Jane
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 1, 2015 at 12:52 pm

I don't know where the idea that grey water was bad for trees came from. My Avocado has been grey watered for more than 30 years, sometimes we divert it to the plum. In the drought we have not had so many avocados, if it rains and we grey water as usual; we have avocados that often weigh over a pound each. My neighbors enjoy their gifts. The Plum did not do very well this year with no winter rain last year, but it is also over 50 years old. Needs to get the pipe moved more often in the winter. The Ginko in the front does not get grey water, and it has much smaller leaves this year. But tress not liking grey water is not true in my experience.

24 people like this
Posted by new basements
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 1, 2015 at 12:59 pm

I see basements being dug all over Palo Alto. The city trucks can fill up any time with the water they are pumping away. Why aren't they doing that and watering the trees?

12 people like this
Posted by Jane
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 1, 2015 at 1:08 pm

"We definitely need help from property owners,"

Over the years I've watched many street trees, even newly planted ones, fail to thrive and slowly die because the the "property owners" do not live on the premises. These trees struggle to stay alive, stick like, and provide almost no canopy.

It has mystified me why, after the drought in the 1970's when we were carrying buckets of water out to our yards, city employees continued to choose and plant street trees in my neighborhood that need a deep monthly watering their entire life span to thrive let alone grow a canopy.

Especially in front of houses and apartment buildings where it is obvious the occupants had no interest in keeping the previous tree alive, let alone thrive.

9 people like this
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 1, 2015 at 1:47 pm

>One of the big problems is that most of the stressed trees are not native to this region.


One huge problem is that property owners will not plant native trees (e.g. oaks)as long as they are a city-protected species. It sounds counter-intuitive, but in order have native trees, they must be allowed to be removed.

11 people like this
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 1, 2015 at 3:16 pm

"But NOW they want the homeowners to water the city-owned trees!" -- as posted above

Try having a newer city planted city street tree - we are REQUIRED to water them. At our expense - at our risk of passersby misunderstanding the watering and looking askance at the homeowner. It is tiresome plus they didn't give us a nice tree.

Overall, I think the city should make every attempt to save trees unless they are sick, diseased, and/or a risk to the public, which is sometimes the case.
But letting the entry to the city look terrible (coming off the freeway, for example) does little to convey the value of this city. Letting relatively recent plantings like the Stanford colored carpet roses or various strip plantings like along Oregon Expy, go totally dead is....awful. This stuff won't magically come back if it is totally dead.

12 people like this
Posted by Lisapk
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 1, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Could we pay for trucks to use grey/recycled water and drive along to water all the trees? It would be so worth it to save our beautiful trees, a critical part of Palo Alto.

18 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 1, 2015 at 3:40 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

In this town of Development uber Alles, allowing basements to be dug in new house construction is astonishingly dumb and short sighted.

13 people like this
Posted by Eva
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 1, 2015 at 5:22 pm

In addition to the environmental and beauty benefits of our city's tress, having trees be so severely parched is a huge fire danger. The Butte Fire which is still burning in Calaveras/Amador counties has burned over 70,000 acres and destroyed 475 residences; it's looking like it was caused by a PG&E power line coming in contact with a live tree. Cal Fire is still investigating, so this may change, but it's a pretty frightening prospect.

I am glad to hear that we are finally seeing messages to water our trees. Up until now there has been an understandably anti-watering campaign, and this is an unintended consequence.

14 people like this
Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 1, 2015 at 5:54 pm

Can't help thinking living things should have water priority over basements. I say let's water the trees and the damn the consequences.

21 people like this
Posted by Water Conserver
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 1, 2015 at 5:56 pm

Shame on the architects and realtors who have been designing and promoting basement construction!

These construction sites pump out 75,000-100,000 gallons of water A DAY!
Some sites flowmeters which were registering over 100,000 gallons/day.

Shame on builders who dare to call these homes "GREEN".
These homes will NEVER be green.
How dare residents boast about drought resistant landscaping after vacuuming out almost 20 MILLION gallons of groundwater to do achieve it?

Let's close the loop holes in our building codes.

As for our drought stricken trees, take my Magnolia P-L-E-A-S-E.

I love our trees, but conserving water is more important.
Trees are renewable.
Non-saline, unpolluted water is far more important than nursing along a non-native species.

9 people like this
Posted by Scientist
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 1, 2015 at 8:26 pm

ForestForever: "In 50 years the climate may have changed sufficiently..."

You don't have to look 50 years from now. Man-made climate change has been happening already for decades. And it's only going to get exponentially worse.

Even if we disregard all the other costs, the economic cost of ignoring climate change is far greater than the cost of addressing it.

7 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 1, 2015 at 9:12 pm

I think this thread should focus on native vs. non-native tress, as has already been mentioned. The basement issue is a side show.

I agree with Craig Laughton that native trees will only be planted by private property owners if they are not protected by rules and regs.

We need to slowly replace our canopy with native trees.

7 people like this
Posted by Aquifer
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 1, 2015 at 9:39 pm

Anytime an issue arrises around water, you can count on @Mauricio and @YSK to bang the drum about basements.

Yet, time and time again we can point out that trees don't get their water from the groundwater. The trees are stressed because there is no rain, and people have cut back on the irrigation - THAT is surface water. The trees need surface water - where their roots are - near the surface.

You can rail against basements all you want, but it does not change the fact that dewatering 15' down has no impact on roots which are 1-5' down.

You can rail against basements all you want, but does not change the fact that dewatering affects a very narrow range around the project in construction - perhaps a 50' radius. It is just not a city wide effect.

In fact, because we see trees stressed city wide, that PROVES it is not because of dewatering across town. The trees are stressed because there is no surface water for them in their immediate vicinity. Regardless of dewatering.

Face it - you just hate people with basements, and will look for any reason to rail against them. The trees are just a convenient "victim" to rally to your cause.

13 people like this
Posted by Water Conserver
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 1, 2015 at 10:12 pm

Aquifers - I don't hate people with basements.
I feel sorry for them that they were duped into building one into areas with high groundwater.
Native "kids" and long time residents know better.

10 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 2, 2015 at 6:04 am

mauricio is a registered user.

This is not about hating basement. Ground water depletion causes the soil to shrink and collapse. The unecessary pumping of so much ground water during a protracted, severe drought, puts too much pressure on the soil and affects everybody. Your neighbors house foundation may be affected when you build a basement. It's not just an act of narcism that doesn't affect others.

1 person likes this
Posted by Aquifer
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 7:02 am

...your right: "It's not just an act of narcism that doesn't affect others."

It's an act of construction that doesn't affect others.

Or the trees. Time to let go.

2 people like this
Posted by Magnolias need to go
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Oct 2, 2015 at 7:04 am

I can't wait for my magnolia to die. Not only is it a mess year-round, the root system is so shallow that it wreaks havoc on water and sewer piping. So many houses in our neighborhood have had to replace their sewer pipes due to tree roots. The city also refuses to trim them properly so there are massive branches just waiting to fall on our driveway. I just hope my kids aren't out there when they do finally come down.

7 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 2, 2015 at 10:52 am

mauricio is a registered user.

The act of pumping out groundwater does indeed affect the neighbors. It causes the ground to shrink and has a chain affect on adjacent areas. We need about ten years of above average rainfall before basement are allowed to be constructed again.

3 people like this
Posted by Jonathan Brown
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 2, 2015 at 1:30 pm

The now-removed Magnolia in front of our house was diseased and dying, and I suspect many others in the City are suffering the same fate--nothing to do with the drought.

I agree with others whose comments suggest the City's tree care and replacement program could be better, and caring citizens could be better utilized. The city recently responded quickly to fix a broken pipe reported in Boulware Park, so I know they can do it. Our replacement tree was poorly installed, something I find inexplicable given that they did a nice job on our neighbor's new tree. The inadequate "mulch" is often dug up by animals and left for us to try to replace. We were told we had to water the tree a lot but simultaneously conserve water because of the drought. The city also said it might remove any other landscaping we put in between sidewalk and curb, even in the dirt patch they left by the previous tree when they decided to plant the new tree ten feet away. When I called to say I did not appreciate that my bricks were dug up and left on my (admittedly dry) lawn and the new tree relocated without any prior notice, I was met with stony silence. Why risk creating enemies out of people who desire to be allies?

1 person likes this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 2, 2015 at 4:43 pm

Speaking of the drought ...

Anyone notice or can report about what they see in restaurants?
I have only noticed on restaurant in the months that I have been
noting this that has stopped automatically bringing water to my
table when I first sit down.

What about you ... is anyone doing this?

I did not think that much about the drought until it all starts
hitting at the same time ... and I saw some reporting or the
Hoover Dam and Lake Mead ... 100 feet down from max.

Also satellite images that show groundwater are looking
very frim too.

This is way past serious.

I think the state needs to start to develop expertise in
permaculture because as others have mentioned, when
the ground turns to adobe brick trying to nurse it back
to health with water then is going to be too late.

If you are curious about permacultiure look at some of
Geoff Lawton's videos on You-Tube, they are very
fascinating and educational.

The city should be trying to find ways to mulch and
cover the ground, with wood chips or mulching plants
to keep the moisture from evaporating and the soil
from dying.

4 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 2, 2015 at 6:19 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

It's silly how this publication *constantly* takes issues with a large impact and Palo Altofies them. This is a massive statewide-problem that should've been on the authorities' radar long before now. Given how dangerous trees can be with too much rapid absorption of groundwater during a heavy rain, add multi-year drought damage, year round fire danger and anticipated heavy winds in California, and you have a tremendous problem. Regionally, this must be addressed beyond the individual homeowner and sole city jurisdiction. Shared expertise, pooling information and rapid action are needed.

Does anyone recall all the downed trees in San Francisco nearly 25 years ago? It was an astoundingly high number and incredibly dangerous. How about all of the falling trees in East Palo Alto a decade ago, due to owner negligence and early heavy rains? The kids killed over the summer when a heavy tree limb fell on their tent while camping? We all must grapple with this problem if we are to stay safe. Look up, look around, take the time to observe the trees you encounter. If they're dry, overgrown or dead, please don't hesitate to contact the responsible party. This includes PG&E or your utilities company, the cable or telephone carrier for the branches around power lines.

2 people like this
Posted by sensible
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2015 at 6:59 am

From what you are saying dewatering is OK because it only affects the
surrounding three properties, the "50 ft radius". And then another three
properties and another three properties, etc. Where is your house? In PA? I'll do a basement next to your house. Also if trees are shallow rooted then the roots spread out, like a redwood for example, so the excavation itself in an adjacent property harms the root system and in the case of redwoods and oaks they are protected trees under City ordinance and the dewatering violates the City ordinance and is illegal. You can't have it both ways, shallow-rooted means the roots spread. Also,why are the redwood trees at Palo Alto Square for example dying in great numbers if only surface
watering is the cause of the problem? Also historically our area is subject to serious subsidence and requires recharging with imported water. Does any
of this make any sense to you?

9 people like this
Posted by The Facts
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 4, 2015 at 6:39 pm

The truth about trees is that most, except for some conifers such as redwoods, have a long, deep-growing tap root that will eventually be deep enough to tap into an aquifer ( hence the name tap root). Until this root is established, however ( at least three years) regular rain or deep watering are needed. Otherwise, the roots may grow upward in their search for water--and then be prone to uprooting in a windy, rainy year.

1 person likes this
Posted by David
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2015 at 9:41 am

I'm seeing many many many Monterey Pine trees dying all up and down the peninsula including many in Palo Alto from pine pitch canker and the drought. Redwood trees in non irrigated areas up and down the the peninsula are also dying or looking very stressed. Many of these redwood trees are planted in areas without sufficient natural water or run off. Oak trees in the foothills (Skyline Blvd to Hwy 28-) are also dying from sudden oak death and a smaller percentage from bug infestation. Many of these dying trees on both public and private property need to be addressed before the winter storms hit and knock down many of these dead or dying trees.

4 people like this
Posted by The Facts
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2015 at 9:48 am

Drought caused trees to become " starved" for nutrition, which leaves them susceptible to opportunistic diseases.

The same thing happens to people and animals who are malnourished and then succumb to tuberculosis or double pneumonia.

2 people like this
Posted by Grey is the new green
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 6, 2015 at 10:07 am

Whoever said trees don't like grey water needs to come to my yard. We can discuss it in the shade under the lush green canopy of healthy vibrant leaves.
This is the second year we have used recycled bath water all over our yard including trees, citrus, stone fruit and the street tree (Maple) and our yard
looks better than before the drought. FWIW, I don't use washing machine or dishwasher grey water. Only bath and we use basic soaps so that may be the difference.

Oh, in addition to our great looking yard, we also have an average water savings of 40% measured over a 3 year period over the course of the warmer 6 months of the year. I'm totally sold on grey water usage for the yard.

2 people like this
Posted by eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 6, 2015 at 1:55 pm

My beautiful Coastal Live Oak died this spring. It was well over 100 years old and a protected tree!
It was finally destroyed by bark beetles and died within two months! The arborist said it was most likely due
to the drought since this Oak tree lives closer to the coast and gets the morning fog. A huge loss and canopy
for our historic Victorian. I miss all the birds and shade it gave us. We are in the process of planting a new,
fast growing, drought tolerant tree it's place. Canopy is not much help when I called them. They just told me to
contact an Arborist, (at a great deal of expense). Thanks Canopy!

Posted by Water
a resident of Adobe-Meadow

on Oct 7, 2015 at 10:10 am

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