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Arboriculture & Urban Forestry Online
Volume 21, Issue 5 — September 1995

Water Use of Landscape Plants Grown In An Arid Environment    (View PDF)

D.A. Devitt, D.S. Neuman, D.C. Bowman, R.L. Morris

Abstract: An outdoor experiment was conducted in Las Vegas, NV, to quantify the actual evapotranspiration (ETa) of various landscape plants grown in an arid environment. Washingtonia robusta, Pinus eldarica and Cercidium floridum were planted as #5 and #15 container size trees in 190 L lysimeters and subjected to leaching fractions (LF= volume of solution drained/volume of irrigation water applied) of 0.25, 0 and -0.25 (theoretical). Additional shrubs, groundcover and turfgrasses were also grown in lysimeters but irrigated only at the 0 LF for comparative purposes. Results indicated that ETa of the trees was significantly influenced by planting size and/ or LF (p< 0.05). Multiple regression equations accounted for 81 to 85% of the variability in measured ETa of the palm, pine and palo verde trees when shoot characteristics and monthly potential evapotranspiration (ETo) were included in the models. ETa of the shrubs, groundcovers and turfgrasses showed significant differences by species (p=0.05). Results indicated that consideration must be given to growth and water use relationships and changing ETo if accurate irrigation volumes are to be scheduled for each species.

Keywords: Evapotranspiration, leaching fractions, growth characteristics, irrigation, landscape, tree, shrub, groundcover, grass

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