Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2010CO220B

Impact of Limited Irrigation on Health of Four Common Shrub Species

Institute: Colorado
Year Established: 2010 Start Date: 2010-03-01 End Date: 2011-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $5,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $2,654

Principal Investigators: James Klett

Abstract: Throughout much of Colorado the demand for water has increased and the available water supply has decreased. It is increasingly more important to conserve water wherever possible. One possible way to conserve water in planted landscapes is to plant low water use plants. Unfortunately little research has been conducted on determining the water use of common plant species that are used in urban landscapes and that are distributed throughout nurseries and garden centers in the Rocky Mountain region. As a result, a shrub water study was initiated in 2005 at Colorado State University to monitor the responses of some common landscape shrubs when subjected to four different irrigation regimes (0%, 25%, 50%, and 100%) based on the evapotranspiration rates of Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass). The shrub species studied thus far include Acer ginnala (Amur maple), Amelanchier alnifolia (serviceberry), Caryopteris incana (blue mist spirea), Chamaebatiaria millefolium (fernbush), Cornus sericea (redosier dogwood), Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle� (Annabelle hydrangea), Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian sage), Physocarpus opulifolius 'Monlo' (Diablo ninebark), Rhus trilobata (three leaf sumac), Salix pupurea (arctic blue willow), Syringa meyeri (Meyer lilac), and Syringa vulgaris (common lilac). Data collection occurred each growing season and the types of data that were collected included soil moisture, plant heights and widths, predawn leaf water potentials, daily water use (using plants grown in lysimeters), visual ratings, end of season leaf areas, and end of season leaf fresh and dry weights.