Eucalyptus dry up wet ground 😉

If you have wet ground and want to dry it up in a natural way, then planting Eucalyptus trees is a good option.

Before I planted my mini forest, the ground here could become very saturated. It still gets wet, though no where near the same extent.
As I say in the video, when I planted the first few Nitens and Gunnii, the holes I drilled with the earth auger were brimming with water in a few minutes.

Drying up wet ground on golf courses

Eucalyptus trees are evergreen, and require hydration all year round, perfect for extending the playing season on courses which are prone to becoming saturated.

Eucalyptus trees not only dry up the area which their roots extend too, but well beyond that. More than most species, Eucalyptus enlist the help of mycorrhizal networks to exchange hydration and nutrients for sugars and carbohydrates; resources the fungi can’t produce themselves.

In practice, this means that instead of the dry strips which conventional drains exhibit during dry periods, the draining of the ground is much more even.
Digging and filling drains with rocks and plastic piping is EXPENSIVE ! and often not that effective. Drains often collapse, leaving indentations in the ground.

Eucalyptus trees and the mycorrhizal networks are cheap and don’t have these downsides.

Dry up the wettest areas first

YES ! mycorrhizal are that intelligent ! they operate free market economics in a strict way, exchanging what they have in abundance cheaply, and what is in short supply expensively. i.e. they exchange hydration and nutrients in return for sugars and carbohydrates from the trees. Something mycorrhizal can’t produce themselves.

There are no hotspots, either wet or dry whatever time of year, or whatever the prevailing climatic conditions. The extremes are evened out

Eucalyptus more than most species are ideally suited to drying up boggy ground.

Golf Hole trench drainage

The farmers around here have ready access to what they call gravel, what I would call quite chunky rocks ! They dig it out of the hillsides.

Farmers gravel

They have access to all the heavy machinery necessary for digging drainage. Excavators and tractors with very large tipping trailers.

Ireland can be a very wet place 🌧️
It’s on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and the rain laden storms that flow in. So even though the farmers dig trenches and fill them with rocks to improve the drainage in their fields, they can still become saturated.

Farmers field drainage

Cattle are housed in sheds during the winter, which creates its own issues; namely slurry which is then sprayed onto the fields. Slurry is good fertiliser, but it is also full of pathogens, and according to one farmer I spoke to; slurry further softens the ground, making it even more boggy during wet periods.

If the ground was firmer, then the cattle could graze outside for longer, possibly all year round, which according to another farmer is cheaper !

Sadly they don’t like trees, which is a shame as, planted around the edges of the fields they would be far more effective at regulating water than their drains, which during wet periods are effective, but only locally, within a few metres of the drain trench at most.

Eucalyptus dry up wet ground all through the year because they are evergreen and need hydration even during the winter. They also do this evenly and a long way from their root systems as they utilise the mycorrhizal networks.

During dry periods the drains create parched strips of earth with no vegetation; no grass, cattle food. There’s much to be said for agroforestry !