Too Little Rather Than Too Much Water

Looking through an orchard of 18-year-old prune trees on riverbottom

land, I found a number of the trees had died. A well bored in the

orchard strikes water at about 15 feet. I find no apparent reason far

the death of these trees unless it is that the tap roots reach this body

of water and are injuriously affected thereby.

We do not believe that water at 15 feet depth could possibly kill a

prune tree. It is more likely that owing to spotted condition of the

soil, gravel should occur in different places, and with gravel three or

four feet below the surface a tree might actually die although there was

plenty of water at a depth of 15 feet. There is more danger that the

trees died from lack of water than from an oversupply of it, and it is

quite likely also that you could pump and irrigate to advantage large

trees which did not seem to be up to the standard of the whole place, as

manifested by lack of bearing, smallness of leaves, which would be apt

to turn yellow too early in the season.

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