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I live in South Jordan. 4 1/2 years ago I started watering my yard with gray water (irrigation) due to the cost of water. Since that time I have lost 6 red twig dogwoods, 7 blue arctic willows,3 spireas, a pine tree and a Japanese maple. Everything else does not look good (other trees, bushes and perennials). In the spring it all starts out green but by June everything has brown edges on yellowing leaves and the trees have several dead branches. Could the gray water be the culprit? Everything was at least 6 years old, lush, and healthy until I changed my water. I am afraid I will lose everything else this summer if I don't find a cure for this. I could you use some answers. Thank you.

Answer(s)

A

I think you're right; water is probably the culprit. When water quality is poor, it's especially important to irrigate properly. Otherwise you may have salts accumulating in the top layers of soil, right where your plants roots live.

To start with, send in a soil sample for testing. Learn how at www.usual.usu.edu

Also, review proper irrigation techniques for trees and shrubs by reading USU Extension's publication "Efficient Irrigation of Trees and Shrubs", at http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/HG-523.pdf

You may want to have your irrigation water tested for its quality. You can send a sample to the USU Analytical Labs (same place as the soil test). Again, instructions and forms for the test are avaialable at www.usual.usu.edu

Posted on 27 Apr 2007

Maggie Wolf
Horticulture Agent, Salt Lake County

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