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Old 07-05-2012, 02:03 PM
 
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Texas is always in drought - it's just the the drought is occasionally interrupted by intense flooding.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:06 PM
 
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Weather patterns to phantom bubbles?

Got my tin hat - I'm ready.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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In the nearly 200 year history of Austin, the Hill Country only became a money magnet in the last 20. Any explanation? Did the previous generations know something that the current crop of transplants don't? We should ask those who lived here during the 50's --> Is the Hill Country sustainable, or is it really even a desirable place to live???
That is a bit of a silly 'begging the question'. The hill country became more 'liveable' with the advent of transportation, electricity, and disposable income, very little to do with water reliability. The previous generations were, if anything, less knowledgeable about drought cycles due to no written almanacs in the area.

Quote:
Treaty Oak is east of Mopac, and is not on the 1" of topsoil like most areas out west. I live near 35 jsut south of downtown near 71, and the amount of dead trees in our neighborhood is negligible. When I took a trip out to Marble Falls last week, the pct of dead trees out 71 was approaching 30 to 40%. We're only 2 years inot what could be a 10-year drought, and it's pretty clear who the losers are going to be with climate change. Blistering sun, no canopy. It's going to be a rough decade for some people.
I have not been out to Marble Falls in a while, so I have no idea if it is that high, but if so, it is similar to the drought-stricken trees around Bastrop (as seen as you fly in over Austin). OTOH, my folks out further west (FB area) have seen a decline in cedar health, primarily, whereas their older (some much older than 60 years) oaks are doing fine. Presumably, their deep roots have sheltered them somewhat. I live just north of your favorite demonic suburb, and I have not seen a dead tree - probably for the same reason your neighborhood is not suffering.

Other than your making the question fit the answer, westward from Austin probably will (statistically speaking) have more impact from the drought, but not due to the soil (or lack of) but rather that the coastal rains occasionally make it to just east of Austin, but very rarely beyond. Rocky soil does retain less surface moisture, but as far as trees are concerned (with roots deeper than surface and well into the rock), there is little-to-no difference.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:08 PM
 
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LOL luv it....u r 2 funny EZ!!!
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
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If the cedars in Western Texas die off, that will be huge boon to the water table. They probably suck more rainfall up than Austin ever thought about.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Texas is always in drought - it's just the the drought is occasionally interrupted by intense flooding.
This probably comes closest to the reality of things here. I can recall many storms and floods throughout the 70s-80s.
According to my memory, it seems like the latest dry spell started in the late 90s. No doubt there will be floods again though maybe not in our lifetimes. I imagine the cycles are much longer than most of us live to see.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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The last 'little ice age' was in the 1500s. Cabeza de Vaca chronicled the cold weather during his long stay in Texas during that time and it coincided with the well documented cold spell in Europe. He also documented the highly productive farmlands in what is now northern Mexico/southern U.S. and is currently the desert SW. We have been heating up since then.

For an interesting read, this is an excellent book that peripherally discusses the Texas area during the 1500s: A Land So Strange

For those that were not required to take Texas history :

Quote:
In 1528, a mission set out from Spain to colonize Florida. But the expedition went horribly wrong: Delayed by a hurricane, knocked off course by a colossal error of navigation, and ultimately doomed by a disastrous decision to separate the men from their ships, the mission quickly became a desperate journey of survival. Of the four hundred men who had embarked on the voyage, only four survived-three Spaniards and an African slave. This tiny band endured a horrific march through Florida, a harrowing raft passage across the Louisiana coast, and years of enslavement in the American Southwest. They journeyed for almost ten years in search of the Pacific Ocean that would guide them home, and they were forever changed by their experience. The men lived with a variety of nomadic Indians and learned several indigenous languages. They saw lands, peoples, plants, and animals that no outsider had ever before seen. In this enthralling tale of four castaways wandering in an unknown land, Andrés Reséndez brings to life the vast, dynamic world of North America just a few years before European settlers would transform it forever.
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoPro View Post
If the cedars in Western Texas die off, that will be huge boon to the water table. They probably suck more rainfall up than Austin ever thought about.
Years ago in the Statesman I remember reading about 2 large acreage properties side by side. One cut down all the Cedar trees on his property and 12 springs came back. The Cedar trees were sucking up that much water.
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tibbar View Post
Years ago in the Statesman I remember reading about 2 large acreage properties side by side. One cut down all the Cedar trees on his property and 12 springs came back. The Cedar trees were sucking up that much water.
Too bad cedar removal is so expensive. Some of my family members have small plots of land in the Hill Country ranging in size from 30 acres to 80 acres, and the thinning out process is slow going.
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tibbar View Post
Years ago in the Statesman I remember reading about 2 large acreage properties side by side. One cut down all the Cedar trees on his property and 12 springs came back. The Cedar trees were sucking up that much water.
My understanding of this phenomenon is that the rush of returning water is temporary. If you go to any wooded landscape and remove the trees, the springs will be full of water. But if vegetation, including trees, is allowed to return, no matter what species, the flowing water will again decrease. This may take years, as trees often take years to grow, but it will go back to the way it was when it was fully wooded. So the thing about cedars sucking so much water, more than other trees, is largely a myth.
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