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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Trees damaged by storm can be saved

Some trees ravaged by Thursday's freight train of a storm may be salvageable, desert garden experts say.

The storm uprooted everything from eucalyptus to ocotillo and even split the trunks of trees in half.

How can you tell if your tree can be saved?

"If the roots aren't out of the ground, then it's probably salvageable. If the roots are out of the ground, I probably wouldn't bother," said Jay Harper of Harper's Nurseries & Landscape Co. in Mesa and Scottsdale.

That is a good rule of thumb for trees, but cactuses and succulents such as ocotillos probably can be replanted with success even if the roots are out of the ground, Harper said.

As for a split trunk, you can try applying a pruning sealer on the damaged area and then wrapping the trunk with cloth tree tape, Harper said. Sometimes, a tree will knit back together, Harper said. If the trunk is big enough, you can even drill a hole and bolt it back together, he said.

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