Dryland Tree and Shrub Establishment

Dryland tree and shrub establishment can be tricky because young seedlings and transplants need to stay moist.

In EPISODE 10  we look at simple strategies you can use to ensure your dryland plantings live, grow, and feed your soil.  These strategies protect biodiversity and help restore the environmental cornerstone of healthy food systems.

Wondering if dryland planting is worth the trouble?  Keep in mind that native trees and shrubs feed animals, insects, and microbes.  They provide habitat and build soil health.  They prevent erosion, and they create cool, moist microclimates in hot, dry lands.

In fact, when plants are removed by vehicle traffic, construction, overgrazing or even severe drought, the soil erosion that follows can actually cause the desert to expand!  This is why revegetation is critical.

Water is scarce in about 1/3 of earth’s land areas.  If you live in these regions, it is important to use planting methods that minimize the need for added water.     Whether you are trying to save water in your backyard garden or add native plants to arid wildlands, episode 10 will introduce you to time-honored strategies for establishing native plants in the desert.

Tune in to learn:

  • How to keep seeds moist and protect them from hungry critters using mulch.
  • How to remove growth inhibitors that keep native seeds dormant.
  • Why deep rooted transplants are good choices for dryland planting
  • How PVC  “watering tubes” can make more efficient use of available water.
  • How hydrated hydrogels can keep water available in the root zone while trees and shrubs establish.


Using hydrogel filled, embedded tubes to sustain grass transplants for arid land restoration.
Guidelines for Planning Riparian Restoration in the Southwest (look for section on  Watering of planted containerized stock )
Treepots (unaffiliated product link)
Hydrogels (unafilliated product link)

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