[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Man vs Nature

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Man vs Nature

Never plant trees next to a pool. Especially flowering or fruit-bearing trees.

I was reminded of this wise statement this morning when I went out to prune branches from the two clusters of Senegal Date palms around my pool. The previous owner had planted them, so I can't blame myself for the less-than-ideal location. They are very attractive trees and they definitely enhance the landscape around the pool, but the biggest problem with the Senegal Dates are the blooms that pop up every May. A couple dozen pods per tree (I have 4 trees) containing sprays of cream colored flowers that will fall right into the pool in the hundreds if you don't cut off the pods in time.

In an attempt to mitigate the damage and work caused by these flowers falling into the pool, I got up on my ladder and started to chop away with my small pruning saw. This may not seem like a hard task except for one thing, the ends of the branches have thorns that are about 3-4" long. They are EXTREMELY sharp. I wear gloves, but sometimes the thorns go right through them. My arms and hands took the brunt of the attack as I managed to chop off most of the flower pods without getting severely impaled. Another threat were the fire ants which inhabit the tree, and I also got a few ant bites as a result.

As if all of this wasn't enough, I also have a mature Queen palm next to the pool, and it also produces similar flowers to the Senegal Date, except in much larger quantities. In addition to flowers, the Queen palm produces numerous small seeds slightly larger than an olive, which of course manage to fall into the pool as well. Another nice landscape specimen, but planted in the wrong location.

If you have a pool and thinking about what to plant around it, remember this post. Trust me, it will save you time, money, and injury.

Did I mention the Coconut palms in the corner about 20 feet from the pool?


Post a Comment

<< Home