Recent Storm Damage

richsdJuly 19, 2013

I can't believe the huge amount of damage the latest storm did to my neighborhood (Ahwatukee Foothills.) There are palo verdes and mesquite trees down all over the place! How about your areas? The news says that it was a microburst (the kind of wind that can bring down a jet liner.)

Personally, I had a limb break off my large southern live oak tree, but I'm thankful it wasn't more. Many clay tiles fell off my roof, as well.

Seems like mesquites have more negative qualities than positive, IMO. I had one that blew down years ago.

BTW, Sunset highly recommends hackberry trees due to their deep rooting and hardiness, but I don't see any planted around here. Has anyone else noticed any? There are several species hardy here, according to their book.

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Sorry to hear about the damage! Not much you can do about a microburst. We lost our large mesquite due to a microburst last August. "Luckily" the tree hit the roof -- otherwise the insurance wouldn't have covered the $1800+ removal cost. No more mess-quites for us!

Here in Tucson, I regularly see Canyon Hackberry (Celtis reticulata) - in fact, I planted one in my side yard several years ago because I needed a deep-rooted tree that wouldn't disrupt the foundation or the block wall.

I really like it, it's a good native wildlife tree, but it does need a little more water than mesquites, palo verdes, etc. I give it a slow 24-hour trickle every 2 weeks when it's hot - none in winter when it goes deciduous.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 5:06PM
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thanks, Juttah. Good info.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 6:02PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Sorry for the damage, that's never fun. I have one of the largest hybrid mesquites for miles in my front garden and I'm always wondering if this is the storm that is going to bring it down (um, last night, for instance, hah, but it did not). Hopefully you are your neighborhood are on the road to recovery. I work with some folks who live in your area and they were pretty surprised with the damage too. No bueno!

Thanks for the information on your hackberry, Juttah, good to hear! Rich, let us know if you get one and how it works out.

Happy, safe, gardening all!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 12:22PM
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I see hackberries in Phoenix frequently.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hackberry, in the Arizona Desert

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 2:44PM
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Fascist, good link to hackberry info. However, I'm more curious about the species planted in the plains (Celtis occidentalis.) I've seen big specimens in Denver and Chicago, but never here so far. They'd probably get yellow and chlorotic (like everything else here :(

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 3:52PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

So much for the DMPV. It was badly broken in a microburst a few years ago, but recovered better than I ever thought it would. It was between the back of the house with a 2-story west-facing wall and a large storage shed. 'Was' is the operative word here; I found it split and lying in the yard after the deluge this morning. There really wasn't any wind to speak of, just rain, lots and lots of it. Now there's no shade on that west wall and the tree is in cut-up pieces in the yard. :-(

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 11:31PM
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I've had terrible luck with DMPV. Lost two several years ago - broke off right at the soil line. I'm very stingy with water and live by the motto 'grow 'em hard' to promote strong wood. I switched to the Sonoran Emerald (grown locally and available at most nurseries) for replacements and haven't had any problems with branch breakage or windthrow.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 12:19PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

I may have to take this one out completely; it's off-balance now and the other half is likely to fall into the shed if we have another really strong storm. Will look into the Sonoran Emerald. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 1:13PM
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Grant, re: you inquiry into my interest in hackberry trees. I'm headed to Denver again soon, so I'll see if I can bring back a super small hackberry (C. occidentalis) sapling on my return trip, if for no other reason but to see how they tolerate the valley conditions. They're super common in Denver.

Someone probably sells it locally, but I hate looking all over for things.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 9:17PM
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One of my large blue agave cacti was beaten down and bent in half due to wind and heavy rain. How can i make each "arm" dtand erect again? Should i cut them off? I am so upset this gorgeous big cactus may be ruined.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 11:54PM
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