Monday, June 21, 2010

Long Dry Season Mishaps

Call it climate change, abuse of environment, etc, etc, but the dry season this year has been really so terrible. This is the first time Metro Manila registered 38°C and the highlands of the Cordilleras also complained of hot temperatures. It is fuming hot when you happen to go out at 2:00 to 3:00 pm. Temperature plus humidity really makes you icky and feel sick. Office workers like us stay inside the buildings the whole day and minimize any errands to the banks or whatever outside.

Plants in the province, as in our farm, also suffered enormously. We have eight (8) citrus trees which already fruited the last 2 to 3 years. Three of them seem dying, with leaves rolling and then turning yellow. They are the legacy of my late father who was not able to see the fruits of his labor. We so love these trees as they have lots of fruits last December, that we took turns to climb them to pick the fruits. It is a bit difficult but i always do it as a good form of exercise for my limbs. The feet got hurt a bit, but the activity is quite stress relieving.
 Above are the trees in December when they have plenty of fruits versus the bottom right today as they suffer from drought, bottom left are the fruits in December
 The lanzones trees (bottom left), Lansium domesticum, also succumbed. Three trees died with all the leaves completely gone. Other avocados died as well, some have other branches still alive but there are those which died totally. (avocado trees not shown here).

above right shows Cymbidium orchids, which almost died completely. It is attached to a lanzones trunk which also suffered severe drought
It is only the santol (Sandoricum koetjape), we have three trees, which ignored the heat. I even bought fruit fly attractants so the fruits will ripen fully and might be sold later.

However, it looks like that promise will not be realized. Birds suffered famine as well. They immediately cut open the santol fruits as they start to turn yellow. The fruits fell to the ground and eaten by other insects in the food chain.

Even the guyabano or soursoup, Anona muricata, is not spared. Look at the big ants which made their nests on the bundled leaves. Even the unopened flowers are guarded and maybe eaten when it started to open.
The fruit at left is just spared because the ants did not make their nests on this tree. We were able to get a few fruits from this tree.                                                                    Haaaay, we just content ourselves with the leftovers.

Let us now rejoice as the rain started to arrive. We already have a few afternoons of rain showers. It might however take sometime for the dehydrated plants to recover, if ever they will still be resuscitated.  


  1. It can be so heartbreaking watching plants die off in the heat and humidity ... you're certainly getting some very high temps. ... so hard for all plants to survive such conditions. I do hope those lemon trees come back for you. Thank heavens the rains have arrived.

  2. Its a good thing that it rained.
    Hope most of your plants jump back refreshed after a long draught.

  3. HI is so interesting to see changes and the impact they have! Yay..happy the rains have come for you...enjoy!
    have a gorgeous day!

  4. I hope those refreshing rains bring new hope to your land.It is sad to see these trees die for lack of water.

  5. Andrea I am so sorry that your farm suffered in the drought, especially the trees your dad planted. I lost a malay apple tree which I had cut down last week. I lost some plants but those can be replaced. The rains have finally started and we had a day of rain last week with frequent showers during the week. Yesterday we had another day of rain and we are expecting more tomorrow. Like you I am afraid to venture out into the garden during the day. Early mornings and late evenings and cloudy days only. I did however went out to cut the grass and I had to stop and take many breaks, but it had to be done.

  6. aaw, too bad about the fruit!!

  7. I'm sorry that your trees are suffering from hot temperatures and lack of rain. I hope now that the rains have returned that the trees will get the refreshment that they need and do better.

  8. You have the dry season while we have frost and snow during the winter months to contend with.

    Andrea I never realised that your plants would suffer so much. Thats why I find blogging so interesting as I learn so much about other places and their weather extremes. I am so glad that the rain has started to come down - I'm sure most of those plants will recover.

  9. So sorry about your fruit trees, especially those that our farther left for you. Hope the promising rain can make most of them coming back. Are you allowed to do some hand watering? When we experienced drought a couple of years ago, residents are allowed to turn on their sprinkles only a couple of times in a week. But if you do the hand-watering, it is fine assuming you are not use that much water.

  10. Hot weather is definitely not good for plants in the open especially those grown in the wild. I hope they will bounce back after a heavy rain and their roots have grown deep enough to sustain the hot weather :-)

    Btw, sorry about the humidity. It's really uncomfortable to be sweating all the time. Take care of your health.

  11. I have my fingers crossed for rain to come your way. It is such a very sad thing to lose trees. So very sad.

  12. Poor trees. I hope they will survive and grow vigorously. The rains can be a huge problem here, but drought seems worse!

  13. Hi Andrea, Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you return OFTEN. I am enjoying reading yours. I love your blog template and colors.

    I'm so sorry about the fruit trees... This Summer (as you know from reading my blog) has been unusually hot almost everywhere. We live on the top of a mountain (2000 feet above sea level)--so we usually don't have the extreme heat up here. This summer though has been worse than any since we moved here in 2003. Who knows!!!

    I hope your heat and drought end quickly...


  14. I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to the fruit trees. The drought must have been terrible. Luckily the rain is coming back. Hopefully more rain will come. It must have been fun climbing trees.

  15. I am so sorry to hear about the drought in the Philippines which has killed so many of your fruit trees! This is the first I've heard of it. I'm glad the rain has come. Thanks for stopping by my blog with your nice comments!

  16. Oh heartbreaking..I'm so sadden for you. We had a 3 year drought which began getting better just last summer, this summer started off with a large amount of rain, but the humidity has set in and it's hotter than us a heat index of between 102-105F (I'm sorry I don't know celsius, downfall of the US and now I am having to water and the grass is browning up..but we are still better than when we were in drought time and better than what is happening with you right now. We lost a lot of trees during the drought and even when it starting getting better, it was just too late and we had have many of them removed, so I know your pain..I hope that your rain keeps coming! It's drought in some places, and terrible floods in others..wouldn't it be nice to just hit a balance of wet and dry? Mother Nature is not very accomodating I'm afraid!

  17. Andrea, thanks for your comments on my blog. I like hearing about people's visits and stays in Sydney. Cheers.
    Sydney - City and Suburbs

  18. Andrea, breaks my heart to see trees dying of thirst. I'm so sorry. About it all, especially losing your father's legacy trees.

    Can you spread compost to help them along? I'm hoping they'll revive.

  19. Thank you everyone for sympathizing with me on this long and difficult dry season.

    Bernie, James, Kiki, Ruth - the rains come most afternoons, but somes trees can't recover anymore.

    Helen, Wendy, Linda, Rosie - yes, the conditions in the world are not balanced anymore and that maybe is the way of balancing things abused by men. Hopefully, we will be able to survive these condidions without too much pain.

    Ami - yes we can water our plants, but trees are not like annuals where a pail of water can alleviate its dehydration! Many cubic meters water are needed if you want to reach the roots.

    Steph, Tina, Betsy, Autumn Belle - thanks for keeping your fingers crossed so we will get more rains so our trees wont die.

  20. Pat - maybe it is really not drought yet, but long dry season. And because the temperature is high it aggravated the situation. Thanks for visiting my blog.

    Rhonda - it's okay for Fahrenheit, actually what you mean is 38 to 40.5 degree Celsius, converting temps is already in celphones these days. Those are really high temps, i wonder why even at high elevation you can still get those high temps. Mother nature is giving men high tolls for our irresponsibilities, and those who suffer are not necessarily the culprits.

    JB - thanks for visiting again.

    Kathleen - yes we can put compost, but it will only be effective as nutrient source and soil texture modifier when there is enough water. Thanks for the advice and your visit.


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