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 Drought Damage 
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Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:43 am
Posts: 120
Location: Frog Rock, Australia.
Post Drought Damage
I've had 3 small rain "events" since April 2017. Probably more than 100 trees on my place have split and died. The once lush native grasses now crunch underfoot. I live totally off grid, so no rain means no water for the house, let alone the garden. In my first 10 years here, I had to buy water once. In the past year, 4 times.

This Grevillea hookeriana was my pride and joy until a year ago...




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This was a magnificent row of 10 Euc. globulus I planted 14 years ago. The 2 remaining ones on the left are in much deeper soil...


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This is typical of the damage suffered by the predominant tree on my property, Acacia implexa. Note the splitting bark...




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And this was a healthy Euc. scoparia I planted the day my now 7 year-old grandson was born...


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I suppose I'll have plenty of firewood next winter, but the way the climate is changing so rapidly, doubt I'll be needing much heating inside. :cry:


Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:24 am
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Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:58 pm
Posts: 833
Location: Oxford UK
Post Re: Drought Damage
It looks bleak Ian with all that dryness. You do appear to live in the back of beyond. Couldn't even find you on Google earth. Some of the larger trees are still green so would it be worth investing in a well?

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Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:36 pm
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:49 pm
Posts: 200
Location: arthog, gwynedd, wales
Post Re: Drought Damage
That all looks a bit sad but I agree with Andy, get the spade out :wink: Or emigrate to Wales, I guarantee you wont have that problem. :roll:

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Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:31 pm
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Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:43 am
Posts: 120
Location: Frog Rock, Australia.
Post Re: Drought Damage
My place is on possibly the highest mountain in a 50 km radius...no groundwater up here for a well. I did pay $1500 for a quite large dam to be constructed back in 2004. It leaks like a sieve. In all my time here, it's filled just twice during torrential downpours, then within 3 days it's empty.

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Have seriously considered moving to a place with higher rainfall, but that's financially unviable, and despite my complaining, I do love this place and its rugged beauty. One good rainfall transforms it into a quite lush and verdant panorama, but rain days are getting further apart, and every year is hotter than the last.

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Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:06 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:52 pm
Posts: 7761
Location: Hayward- S.F. Bay area Ca.
Post Re: Drought Damage
It actually looks greener then here in the Bay Area in the middle of our rainy season. I do understand and look glumly because if our water supply that comes from hundreds of miles distant ever fails from drought? It wouldn't take long for my yards to dry out.
I took this photo the other day..and it hasn't rained since then either.

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That pond of yours could use a liner..or rototill a clay sold that makes earthen ponds water proof. Maybe line the dam and use the bentonite on the rest.


Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:16 am
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Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:43 am
Posts: 120
Location: Frog Rock, Australia.
Post Re: Drought Damage
Hi, Stan.
Those greener pics were taken in previous years, after rain. I only included them to show how this land can look after decent rainfall. The hills in your pic look alarmingly similar to ours now.

As for a dam liner, too expensive and only one year guarantee. They have a reputation for perishing quickly in our blistering heat.

There is no clay within 50kms of here. All decomposed granite, very free-draining! Bentonite has proved to be ineffectual. There is a granulated polymer that is sprinkled on top of dams when they have high water levels. (That's occurred twice here in 14 years!) And it's $400 per bucket, I'd require 5 or 6 buckets and it comes with no guarantee. Believe me, I've explored every avenue...


Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:35 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:52 pm
Posts: 7761
Location: Hayward- S.F. Bay area Ca.
Post Re: Drought Damage
IanShax wrote:
Hi, Stan.
Those greener pics were taken in previous years, after rain. I only included them to show how this land can look after decent rainfall. The hills in your pic look alarmingly similar to ours now.

As for a dam liner, too expensive and only one year guarantee. They have a reputation for perishing quickly in our blistering heat.

There is no clay within 50kms of here. All decomposed granite, very free-draining! Bentonite has proved to be ineffectual. There is a granulated polymer that is sprinkled on top of dams when they have high water levels. (That's occurred twice here in 14 years!) And it's $400 per bucket, I'd require 5 or 6 buckets and it comes with no guarantee. Believe me, I've explored every avenue...


I know you looked at drilling a well..but you haven't. Whats the story on that Ian? Are wells going dry or too deep. 2 years ago here Ian,people were STEALING water. From park lands,to tankers on public firehydrants. Even Tom Selleck the actor was caught stealing water for his Avocado grove. 2 years ago,some areas not on a major water line...well,they had to buy all their water for eating bathing..the whole thing. Last year the drought broke ( for now)..but I get what you are facing.


Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:21 am
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 3:59 pm
Posts: 7761
Location: Loughborough, Leics, central UK
Post Re: Drought Damage
Sad to see Ian and I can see there is no easy answer to your problem.
It makes one glad of of where the UK is situated being influenced by lots of differing weather systems complete with, in my case here in the middle bit, plenty of rainfall.

I went for a short walk today and all the local flood plains are inundated with rain too much to be honest.

Sorry to see your Grevillea hookeriana that indeed was a beauty could you diversify with some more xeric type planting?


Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:49 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:52 pm
Posts: 7761
Location: Hayward- S.F. Bay area Ca.
Post Re: Drought Damage
I was reading about liners for what you need. Like you said- PVC is not long lasting when the pond goes down and is exposed. Rubber is better but more expensive. They even added that the plastic/rubber ponds have much more problems with weeds then earthen ponds. What caught my eye Ian is that they said if clay is too expensive - as you also said- then soil-dirt- placed on the bottom of the pond and compacted will hold water. Maybe try that...offer to take some construction company's yards of dirt...line your pond and use a rented compacter to make it water proof or close to water proof. Maybe Ian,if you just used a compacter alone to just beat that soil into cement..might work. But,getting real soils first would be best case.
I've dreamed of a natural pond most of my life.


Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:35 pm
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Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:43 am
Posts: 120
Location: Frog Rock, Australia.
Post Re: Drought Damage
Thanks, Stan. Excavation/construction companies here sell excess soil to landscapers or to the Council for road-building, and get a premium price for it. And I have enough doubt about its efficacy as a dam liner not to spend another couple of thousand dollars on a "maybe". I live on a fairly shoestring budget.

I'm resigned to the fact that I've wasted money on that dam and don't want to throw good money after bad. Rapidly galloping climate change isn't helping, either.

If I do ever have a small windfall of cash, I'll probably go as I mentioned earlier...big tank high above dam and big pump up to it. But even with that in place, it's several years between times that the dam has enough water to be of use. I've long equated my water supply with "money in the bank".


Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:12 am
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Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:43 am
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Location: Frog Rock, Australia.
Post Re: Drought Damage
Oh, dear...


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Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:47 am
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 3:59 pm
Posts: 7761
Location: Loughborough, Leics, central UK
Post Re: Drought Damage
Wow that looks a little warm I bet you are hoping for the possible thunder storms....hope you get them Ian


Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:37 pm
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