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Re: CULT: Ideal Garden Spots

Walter asks:
>Donald, when do you transplant mesquite seedlings?
Not at all necessary.  You just need the beans, preferably after having been
routed through a
horse to insure 100% germination.  The trees will be good size within ten
years.  If they haven't
been on the aforementioned route, then some may lie there for up to 50 years
and still sprout.
Remember the effects of kudzu vine in your area of the world?  That is what
you are inviting if
you cultivate one of these trees.  They have a voracious root system.  It
get worse every time
damage occurs to the growth above ground as the tree then compensates by
forming multiple
tap roots.  The aggressive feeder roots will efficiently use all moisture
available to beyond 200
feet of the canopy depriving all other plant life of sufficient moisture for
optimun growth.
They will do this continuously.  The nitrogen they supply in the soil (they
are a true legume) will
never aid the growth of other plants since they can never utilize it due the
mesquite's quite
greedy use of soil moisture.  Only when a tree is truly killed can these
effects be seen.  But they
are hard to kill.  In order to really eliminate a tree, there is a bud zone
on the trunk below
the ground.  This can go as deep as 18 inches below ground level.  Any part
of this not removed
or killed is capable of sprouting new growth.  On such a damaged stump, each
new bud will put
out the aforementioned tap root.  Such root systems are like underground
hydras and are very
difficult to eliminate.  Do not think they will not adapt in Mississippi.
In Texas, they have spread
this century from the dry confines of south and west Texas to penetrating
the Big Thicket area.  In the late
forties there were no mesquites near College Station, so our state
agricultural school had field trips to
study them.  Not necessary any longer since they have reached the Gulf coast
below Houston.
Once one is established, it manufactures seeds at an early age.  These seeds
are spread by many
kinds of domestic and wild life.  Once spread, like any weed, they are there
waiting for the opportune
time to grow and invade.  They can, they do and they will.  After a
sufficient number of these beans
are lying around, it is enough for them to keep generating followup plants.
With their ability to lie
dormant for so many years and still sprout, once established they are pretty
much there to stay.
Let me be the first to discourage you from aiding that spread.  How about
some trumpet vine
instead?  Not easy to control, but much easier than a mesquite and the
hummingbirds love it!
That said, if your heart is set on one, beans are easy to come by.  Just let
me know.

Donald Eaves
Texas Zone 7, USA

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