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Perspectives

Watering trees during the Texas drought

More than 99% of Texas is under drought conditions, creating negative impacts to our landscape – especially to trees. With no end in sight, how do we protect our trees under extreme heat and dry conditions? The most important thing you can do for your trees is water – which can be a challenge when trying to conserve the necessary resource. “We are starting to see widespread drought stress in trees across the state,” said Karl Flocke, Texas A&M Forest Service Woodland Ecologist. “At this point, we are even seeing some trees starting to die because of stress.” Dying trees are generally in isolated pockets where the soil is dry and not holding much water, or in parts of the state where there has been an extended period without rain. “Several different species are dying and declining rapidly,” said Flocke. “But generally, we are seeing the most drought-induced mortality on oaks, a few elm trees, hackberry trees and even some junipers.” The best thing we can do to slow mortality rates in trees is water them, and consistently. Consistent watering is crucial for trees because there is no water storage system within them. Most of the water taken up by trees is not held in the trees but instead is returned to the atmosphere in a process called transpiration.

Before Lou Gehrig there was ‘Pep’

Before Lou Gehrig there was ‘Pep’

Fifty-one years after playing in his last major-league game, a talented Texan tragically struck down in the prime of life finally made it into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Aug. 7, 1972. Four or five years after Ross Middlebrook Youngs’ birth at Shiner in 1897, his father moved the family to San Antonio. Little Ross had just turned 10, when his dad walked out leaving his mother to raise their three sons. While Henrie Youngs worked night and day to support her boys, Ross excelled at athletics. He starred in every sport West Texas Military Academy (Texas Military Institute of today) had to offer. But baseball was his first love, and he turned down football scholarships from several big-name colleges in favor of the bush leagues. The teen’s career got off to a rocky start in 1915. He played briefly for Brenham and Waxahachie in the Mid-Texas and Central Texas leagues only to have both go bust. But 1916 was a different story. As a switch-hitting infielder for a club at Sherman, he was hitting .362 when Dick Kinsella caught him in action. One look was all it took for the New York Giants scout to label Youngs a “can’t-miss” prospect, and on his recommendation John McGraw bought the 19 year old’s contract for $2,000.

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