UKTC Archive

RE: Watering trees during the establishment phase

Subject: RE: Watering trees during the establishment phase
From: Jon Heuch
Date: Feb 11 2020 10:15:51
I am afraid that attempting to define how much water a tree needs in writing
is prone to problems when the text is to cover all eventualities, including
idiots who may read the instructions and apply them to the letter.


This story does have some relevance, so persevere:


I remember a tale told of me in a live forest fire situation; the fire
needed to be put out ASAP, so the radio  message went out "Send the bowser
to location X ASAP, emergency". The two staff members got into the bowser
and drove it like crazy to the fire. Great! Problem solved. Now put the fire
out! The hose was extended, the pump turned on, and a drizzle of water came
out of the hose for a few minutes. No water in the bowser! No one had told
them to fill the bowser with water. However, the instructions were followed!


So, in a fire season, resources are deployed according the severity of
conditions. Typically a fire index is calculated based on temperature, wind,
relative humidity and previous rainfall. A high index means every body is on
high alert; a low index means that everyone can stay in bed.


Watering trees has a similar feel. It's raining and has been raining for the
last week. You probably don't need to spend much time watering your newly
planted trees. If it's been 30 degrees C every day for the last week, and
the last time it rained was a month ago, you are probably going to spend
more time watering. You can make it simple - just water during summer months
& you may get waste & complacency (operators can cheat, get paid for doing
nothing); or you could be a bit more sophisticated and base your watering
regime on recent weather. MORECS might do the trick but the data costs.




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