Tree Down in Crestwood and Related Rain Question

photo(4), originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

This is the worst part of all this rain. I hate losing these great trees. Thanks to a reader for sending this photo from Upshur & Mathewson in Crestwood.

So the rain related question is – can too much rain be bad for a vegetable garden or am I gonna have a bumper crop as a result?

15 Comment

  • If that tree was a Siberian Elm, it is no great loss, though I cannot tell from the photo. I too hate loosing the American Elms and the oaks. Good news is DC has a nice endowment for street trees. If you have an empty tree box, all one need to is contact the City and one should be planted in late spring. I had great success with this.

    I think the rain might be tough on gardens, as it can cause problems with fungus and other diseases. If tomatos get too much water when they are fruiting it can cause them to split open and rot on the vines. Not very pleasent.

  • This is not nearly enough rain to cause problems for veggies. It’s all good for them – but expect a bumper crop of weeds that you’ll need to cull out of the garden this weekend so they don’t compete with your veggies.

  • I was wondering the same thing. So far my garden is doing really well, but I think it is definitely getting over watered with this rain.

  • Looks like a young elm, but yes, hard to tell from this distance.

    It’s instances like these that I wish DC had an urban tree salvage program, like San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto. Even New Jersey has a program. The idea is to mill the downed tree into building materials instead of throwing it in the dump.

    You could get one good 12 foot log out of that tree. Elm’s not a great wood, but if it were oak it would be worth it.

  • I do have to say that some of the DC “rain panic” the last couple of days is just a little bit silly. 4-5 inches have fallen and you’d think it was the Gilgamesh flood.

    4 inches is just a sprinkle on the Gulf Coast. It’s been almost 8 years to the day since tropical storm Alison dumped 36 inches on Houston in less than 24 hours (it dumped over 40 inches out in the boonies).

  • Steve is correct, though a lot of it depends on drainage and sun. If your garden doesn’t drain very well (many yards in the area have very clay soil), then days of standing water may suffocate the roots. If it’s shady and water stays on the leaves and ground for long, then you risk fungus and mildew problems.

    However, for veggie garden in a sunny spot in a raised bed, you should most likely enjoy amazing growth, both of your crops and of weeds.

  • I very carefully planted drought tolerant plants for hot DC summers…not needed this year! All this rain just makes them grow super fast and flop over, so I’ve had to stake a lot of my plants (all flowers).

  • As Steve noted above, you can call 311 to request trees in the tree box in front of your house. Here is a recent email posted on the Petworth listserve on the subject.

    “Petworth neighbors,

    I urge you to call 311 by June 15 to take advantage of this. I called & requested one in front of my house last June and it magically appeared in late December! Today I tried my luck at requesting trees for the entire block…can’t wait to see if it really happens!

    Street Tree Planting

    UFA [Urban Forestry Administration] plants approximately 4,000 street trees each year from October through April. Residents may request a tree for an existing, empty tree box or continuous planting strip (grass strip) in front of their residence or trees for an entire block by calling 311. All planting requests must arrive before June 15th to be processed for the upcoming fall/winter planting season.

  • I planted a garden back in May and really tilled the soil, added sand, garden soil, etc because it was just all heavy clay. After all that work to get the soil to be somewhat acceptable now I’ve got mushrooms growing from all this rain and lack of sunshine. Not too many but they are huge. Plants still appear to be hanging in there but I purchased some stakes to keep them up. My basement is not liking all this rain, the carpet in the front room was moist last weekend and we purchased a dehumidifier – worked like a charm to dry it up in less than a day. We’ve been running it on high over the last week and its still dry down there.

  • 11:49 is right, it takes about 6 months to a year to get the city to respond to your tree request.

  • Sounds like Naomi did a good job, but for those with clay soil be careful adding sand to clay soils – NEVER use a fine sand (like play sand for sandboxes) or you’ll just end up making concrete. A better option is to use a coarse compost or organic matter as an amendment, LOTS AND LOTS of compost. If using a mix of sand and compost, use only a coarse builders’ sand.

  • The reason for the 6 month delay in city tree planting, which Casey Trees also advocates, is that spring and fall are the optimum times of year to plant trees. There will also be an opportunity to request trees from the DC govt for the spring planting.

  • @Naomi – mushrooms is a good thing! They will allow for more nutrients and better moisture flow to your plants. Also they maybe edible, you should check it out…with the right mushrooms in your garden your veggies will grow to be huge!

  • Call 311 for Trees! – I had great exerience with the Urban Forestry folks. I actually called after the June date and still got a tree. It was an American Elm, but it died over the summer, despite my watering it. I called Urban Forestry to let them know. They sent someone to look at it and discovered it was still under warrenty (tree warrenty? Who knew?). Got a lovely litle red bud planted last spring. It looks great. IMHO Urban Foresty is the only city service worth a crap.

  • i would guess its a result of depleted soil, its loose and sandy due to a lack of nutrients, and cant provide enough for the roots of the tree to stay strong. poor earth.

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