Keeping an eye on the rain & how you can help!

Spring is coming! Spring is coming! Along with warmer temperatures and sunshine, this also means rain… but you won’t hear me complaining. In fact, I love when it rains because it means our trees are getting a nice healthy drink. Each week from leaf out (typically April) to leaf drop (typically October) we need to water our newly planted trees. We do this for the first three years a tree is in the ground to help it get established. In the event of a drought we will go back and water even older trees. The one inch caliper trees we plant at KIB need 15 gallons of water a week. That is equal to about 1 inch of rain. So, tracking rainfall is an important practice here at KIB. On the news we often hear rainfall totals collected at the airport, but the crazy thing about living in a big city is that while it might rain an inch or more on the west side, Fountain Square or Ellenberger park may only get a few sprinkles. This means the thousands of trees we have around the city have very different needs when it comes to water. The site that we rely on for gathering rain totals is COCORAHS.org—Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. Every day we can check to see how much it has rained in different parts of county and decide which trees we will send our Youth Tree Team crews out to water. 

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To make it work, this system relies on weather watchers to gather rain totals at their homes or businesses. THIS IS WHERE YOU CAN HELP US! You just sign up through the CoCorahs site and purchase a nifty rain gauge. CoCorahs has info about the best spot for collecting rain, away from trees and buildings, etc. Then you start reporting every day. They even have an app to make it extra easy. I find that it is fun to check my gauge each day, but what’s even more, you can feel good knowing we are using your information to help keep our trees alive. The more people who collect and report rainfall the more accurate we can be with our watering. Starting this month, I’ll be tracking the rain fall here at KIB and at my home…. Join me!

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