University of California Master Gardener, Dani Brusius, emailed this eye-opening information to the Conejo Post:
“Sprinklers and turf are a proven way to shorten the life of most trees and once a week is a good way to ween these trees off of copious amounts of shallow water. Trees need deep infrequent irrigation under the canopy and beyond. While most trees will do fine on once a month irrigation during the summer, most oaks can flourish will no suppmental water unless they start showing signs of drought. Many trees (especially avocado) have low salt tolerances so irrigating with salty reclaimed water will only increase the drought symptoms of salt toxicity (brown edges of leaves).
So now is a good time to ween your trees off of the shallow irrigation schedule. If you are removing the lawn, know that you will have to supplement with a system that delivers deep infrequent irrigation if you plan on keeping those trees healthy.
The California Center for Urban Horticulture has good information on the parts you will need to develop a TRIC (tree ring irrigation contraption) to keep trees healthy in times of drought.”
Thank you, Dani! How good to know this since we all have to make cutbacks in our irrigation schedules due to the severe California Drought.
I agree with Scott Tesar that it is shocking to see the white caps on the sprinkler heads along the tree-filled medians, not only on Lindero Canyon Road, but on Kanan Road and Westlake Boulevard in North Ranch, as well. A lot of the trees in the North Ranch medians are mature oak trees, which makes it even more of a wrench to see.
I decided to track down the details surrounding the capping of the sprinklers. First I called California Water Service, the water purveyor for the area. I was told that it was the City of Thousand Oaks that made the sprinkler change. Then I called the Department of Public Works in T.O. and was told that the trees would continue to receive water, that only the turf would not. Then, reading in the VC Star this morning, Jay Spurgin, head of Public Works in T.O., was quoted in an article on T.O. water restrictions. He said that median trees would be watered once a week. (I understand from talking to others that the water would be recycled and come from a water tanker truck or trailer.)
Thank goodness these trees will be receiving some water, but…is once a week enough to keep them going?
The extreme water shortage we are experiencing demonstrates just how important recycled water is in strategies to reduce potable use. There are pipes very near these medians that Calleguas Municipal Water District owns, filled with recycled water from Triunfo Sanitation District. Sounds to me like it is time for Cal Water to bite the bullet and hook up to the purple pipes!
Photo: One white sprinkler cap on Kanan Road in North Ranch neighborhood of Thousand Oaks.
Scott Tesar emailed the following about median irrigation on Lindero Canyon Road that divides Thousand Oaks from Oak Park:
“I noticed that ALL of the sprinklers have been capped off along the Lindero Canyon Road median between Bowfield and south of Rockfield. What will happen to the already drought-stressed trees that share that space with the thirsty turf???
It seems to me that whomever has the authority to approve that draconian action is taking a relatively short-term problem (our lack of rain, which might turn around this winter
if the NOAA models are correct) and hitting it with a dramatic solution (100% reduction) when a reduced watering schedule and micro-drip irrigation heads to deliver water to the trees would be a more workable long-term solution.
I wanted to know why the risers and caps were installed, guaranteeing that the grass AND the trees will die off (many are already stressed or dead/dying). We have lost all three of our backyard fruit trees due to the combination of ” a prolonged bloom cycle and three years of excessive heat” (per Bob Loft, Arborist) and I hate to see many more of Oak Park’s beautiful trees and landscaping sacrificed.”
Thank you Scott, for your concern! Partial answers in the next post.
Editor: Janna Orkney
There is a different kind of “Wanted” poster on the bulletin board by the ordering counter at John’s Garden at the Malibu Country Mart. A robber may be featured, but not a human one! Specifically, pigeon Jimmy “Big Beak” Capelli is wanted for sandwich stealing. Now you can’t say you weren’t warned…
May 23rd, 2015 · Malibu
As I was driving east on Agoura Road from Reyes Adobe Road at 1:30 P.M., there were clues that something unusual was happening on a steep hillside I was about to pass. The clues were cars parked on Agoura Road on both sides of the street, and people standing beside them with cameras pointed at the slope.
What folks were looking at were goats and a whole lot of them! The hillside was covered with these four-legged creatures. They were eating the dried grass or wandering around, and it was indeed a sight to see. I do remember when there used to be goats at this time of year on a hill that was visible from the Kanan offramp of the 101 Freeway. There also used to be goats adjacent to Las Virgenes Road, just off the 101 Freeway, as well. However, those goat-spotting days are in the past, and it feels good to see them again, doing natural brush clearance.
I think school crossing guards are the Conejo Valley’s unsung heroes! I have seen one take verbal abuse from a mom with a kid, because she did not want to wait till the crossing guard could help her cross a street by Red Oak School in Oak Park. Unbelievable! On the other hand, now I am seeing how a new guard is making Conifer Street safe for kids at Pinewood Street to cross in order to get to Brookside School and accompanying parents I see at this location are friendly and courteous.
Oak Park Unified School District recently bought crossing signs on standards that the guards can put up in the middle of the street to help motorists identify a crosswalk and today my local crossing guard put it out on Conifer. I am so happy about the sign and happy this location now has a crossing guard. Maybe now more kids will walk to school from the south side of Brookside because parents can know that their kids will have help walking the cross walk on this very busy street.
I lobbied for a crossing guard to be assigned to this location in previous posts in previous years. Yes!
Can a Home Owners Association prohibit a residents from their removing lawns and replacing them with drought-tolerant plants? That was what I was asked by an Oak Park resident who was attending a Triunfo Sanitation District board meeting (I serve on the board of directors).
I asked Eric Bergh, Resource Manager for Calleguas Municipal Water District, which is the wholesale water agency for southeast Ventura County that supplies drinking water to local agencies serving over 600,000 people. Here is the summary Eric emailed to me:
• AB 2100 – Prohibits HOAs from imposing fines or assessments against a member who reduces or eliminates watering of vegetation or lawns during any period during which the Governor or local government has declared an emergency due to drought.
• AB 2104 – Specifies that architectural or landscaping guidelines or policies of a common interest development are void if they prohibit the use of low water-using plants and other water conservation measures.
Also, somewhat relatedly, AB 1 which will prohibit a city or county from imposing a fine for a failure to water a lawn or having a brown lawn recently passed out of the Assembly on a unanimous vote. Now, on to the Senate for consideration.
Thank you, Eric, for the information! For more water conservation information, go to: www.TriunfoSanitation.com and www.Calleguas.com. Photo is of Eric Bergh giving talk on Calleguas’ Lake Bard, off Olsen Road in Thousand Oaks.
Oak Park Water Service will start requiring a reduction of irrigating days from three to two days a week for potable water, starting on Monday, May 18. The 2 permitted watering days in Oak Park will be Monday and Thursday, at times before 9 A.M. and after 5 P.M., so that the agency can comply with Governor Brown’s mandatory 25% average reduction in water use throughout California because of the severe drought.
I announced in a previous post that the reduced watering days requirement would begin on Thursday, May 7. However, there has not been time for staff to give sufficient notice to Oak Park residents in order for the reduction to begin on that date, so an additional 11 days is being allowed. A letter will be sent out to all residents shortly.
Please note that I originally took the above photo as an example of water runoff, so that is something to think about, too. In fact, I am going to check my sprinkler system now to see that all the water is going in the right direction!