Written by an area Landscape Architect and birdwatcher with over 30 years of experience with landscaping in north Texas: what works and what doesn't. Emphasis on attracting birds to north Texas yards, and reducing required yard maintenance. Tips, trivia and proven advice for a natural, low-cost approach for this unique and sensitive part of the country.
We are about to enter a very critical
period for north Texas hummingbirds. Our hummingbirds will leave us toward the
end of this September to start their fall migration to Mexico and Central America.The quality of food you put out has nothing
at all to do with the time they depart (it’s totally genetic – spurred by length of day). But the nectar
they get in September can mean life or death.
The hummingbirds need to put on
all the energy-producing fat they can in order to successfully make the long flight,
which is mostly non-stop across the Gulf of Mexico. Without enough fat stored
up, they may not make it!
This is why September is so
critical. Put out feeders filled with clear, fresh nectar (none of that red stuff), helping them “pork up” for the long migration,
and encouraging them to return to your yard next spring.
What’s with all the
leaves falling?All trees (except for cone-bearing tree like pines)
are losing leaves in our current hot/dry weather. It may be showing up stronger
this year because of the cool and super-wet spring. It's basically a normal
adjustment in the tree’s transpiration system. When it's extremely hot, plants
can lose more moisture going out from the leaves than the root system can pull
up from the ground. Thus the trees even things out by dropping some foliage. It’s
nothing to be alarmed about.
To counteract this flood the entire root
zone well and then wait as long as you can without the tree wilting before
watering again. Your tree should be fine. It is more serious if the leaves are
turning brown and staying on the tree instead of falling off.
OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a
licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas
for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the
Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of
Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects,
National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at Yost87@charter.net in Denton.