Trying to save my trees

Trying to save my trees

Potential for wildfire is increasing daily. The means to suppress that fire is increasing not at all

Trying to save my trees

I hope it will please you to know that Robert Barron’s story about my tree irrigation project has attracted calls and comments and questions from several folks.

One interesting question I can certainly understand, i.e. “Why are you using drinking water?”

A: I attempted to arrange with a septic tank service that had several big tanks on wheels sitting idle, to bring me any fresh water, thinking that a bit of leftover tank sludge would do no harm and it would all sink into the ground. They, apparently could not access any H2O supply. I tried!

A person in Ladysmith opined that he would simply apply to have a hydrant opened up and use city water. I had to tell him that there was no public water supply or fire protection hydrants in this corner of North Cowichan. You will remember that in 2016, a three or four storey house by the waterside was burned to a thick layer of ash and the home next door was damaged to the tune of a million dollar cheque from the insurer. That, in spite of the one fire truck spending all of its time down the driveway and the firefighters working hard to save the house.

Three tanker trucks from Duncan and Cowichan Bay, all directed by radio, as they could not pass each other on the narrow road, backed in the last 200 or 300 metres to dump their loads into a portable swimming poll-like tank, which straddled the road and isolated the residents of the dead-end eastern end of Khneipsen Road.

So, kudos to the supporting districts and the expert drivers of the tankers. Well done! A similar fire on this, the 73rd day with only three point six millimetres of rain falling in this severely drough-ridden Khenipsen trail, would certainly set Mount Tzouhalem ablaze. Kelowna would have nothing on us!

The subject was also raised thus: “Whay worry about tree, anyway? We’ve got lots of trees!”

A: Yes, we see trees in every direction we look, but we do not, apparently, have enough to stop the increase of CO2 in our world. I really want to preserve the moree than 100 trees on my one acre of mixed old growth, never logged, forest. There are 69 coastal Douglas fir all over 100 feet tall, pluss massive Garry oak, maple, 11 grand fir, arbutus, juniper and many other native shrubs and smaller trees. The number of them that are showing brown patches of needles is scary.

I am spending a lot of time dragging 400 feet of garden hose with a pint-sized sprinkler on the end around from tree to tree and stretching my two and a half gallon per minute well to the limit. The rest of my time is spent gathering all the flammable material that the trees are sheddding in increasing amounts every year. The potential for wildfire is increasing daily. The means to suppress that fire is increasing not at all. In the 42 years that I have lived here, there has never been any serious concern given by the municipality towards hydrants or any other viable firefighting means. A pitiful performance.

Trees cannot continue to live and grow and produce free oxygen from CO2 without water! Every one that dies increased the global overheating a little bit, and and I bet B.C. lost about a million trees in 2017. I know I am not doing enough, but I have to try.

George Croy