Las Vegas Soil

What Kind of Soil Is This?

Having not originally grown up in Las Vegas, or the state of Nevada for that matter, I had never experienced an ecosystem quite like the desert. I’m used to rich, black soil where tall oak trees thrive, beautiful grass growing everywhere and backyard gardens being commonplace. When I moved here I was shocked to discover how tough and dry the soil actually was. I want to share with you some information regarding our sin city soil and provide some insight on what can be done with it.

Las Vegas Desert

It has been written that the soil here in Las Vegas is actually some of the worst in the entire country, (Check out this article “Overcoming the worst soils in the Us” at the Review Journal). I’ve also heard this numerous times from my tree guy, ( and he’s been in business for 25 plus years in Las Vegas. If you feel inclined, give him a call. He is a wealth of knowledge. His name is Mikhail.

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Palm Trees – Friend or Foe?

Palm Tree on Beach

This post is purely for my entertainment. Since I’ve moved to Las Vegas I have wondered whether palm trees serve a noble purpose for the city in which they do not naturally grow. Or do palm trees actually do more harm than good in some unknown, subtle way. Continue reading to find out.

The entire Las Vegas valley area is full of palm trees. They are in neighborhoods, up and down the strip, and pretty much in every direction you look at any given point in time. These palm trees are so commonplace in Las Vegas that people could mistakenly think that they are native to this mega oasis in the desert. However, palm trees are absolutely not native to Las Vegas, or to the state of Nevada for that matter.

So…Why does any of this matter? Well, there are always unintended consequences with any decision or action taken in life. The decision to import palm trees to Las Vegas is no exception to this rule. I’m here to debate the advantages and disadvantages of palm trees existing in a place they were not naturally intended to be. The question that must be answered is this:

Are palm trees the friend or foe of Las Vegas?


Now, onto the good stuff. It’s time to play devil’s advocate right out of the gates and reveal the not so nice things about our fellow palm trees.

  • Refuge for Unwanted Guests

Palm trees just so happen to be the preferred spot for scorpions to hideout in. With over 20 species now identified in Las Vegas. Several of those species are not native to Las Vegas and actually were indirectly transported here in palm trees from places like Arizona and California. If you’re unsure if you have scorpions in your palm trees you can use a black light at night to identify them. Scorpions glow bright when under a black light. If you find that you have scorpions the easiest solution is to have the bark of your palm trees skinned up to 6 – 8 feet from the ground. This will prevent scorpions from having a place to hide out. How do I know this? Well, I just so happen to know the best palm tree guy in all of Las Vegas. His name is Chris and you can contact his Henderson tree trimming service to get a hold of him. He can answer any of your questions or skin your palm trees so you sleep well at night knowing there aren’t any dang scorpions roaming around.  Don’t hesitate to drop my name.

  • Fronds of Furry

If you have never been poked, punctured or cut by a palm tree frond then consider yourself lucky. Palm fronds can be very sharp and heavy. Always be careful when trimming fronds or disposing of them as they can do some significant damage. Palm trees have been some of the most lethal plants I’ve encountered. I actually wanted to put this under ‘advantages’ since deadly sharp fronds is a wicked awesome defense mechanism. However, I’m still holding a grudge from an incident with a palm tree frond a couple months back.

  • Susceptible to Disease and Infections

Even though palm trees are low maintenance they can become infected rather easily. Some more common infections include ganoderma rot, bud rot and fusarium wilt. These infections tend to be fungal related and can prove to be fatal. Dead fronds and foliage can lead to fungal spores on the palm itself or in the soil below it. Any type of damage done to the heart or deep cut to the base of a palm can allow fungal infections to occur.

  • Cost to Remove or Transplant

Palm trees have deep root systems and can grow to be enormous. Both of these factors can make it expensive to have it removed if dead or dying. It can also cost a pretty penny to have it transplanted. This last one is sort of a reach, but I got to work with what available.

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Las Vegas – The Central Hub for Hiking & Backpacking

Antelope 2

Las Vegas is the gambling mecca of the world with non-stop entertainment and world class restaurants. A little known secret for anyone not familiar with the area is that there are unbelievable hiking trails and backpacking destinations in every direction. I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing several of them and am looking forward to a couple trips I have planned later this year. Hope you enjoy this post as much as enjoyed writing it!

Hiking Trails Within 20 Miles of Central Las Vegas.

  • Black Mountain Trail – 

This trail is located in Henderson, Nevada which is just south of Las Vegas. The trail head backs right up to suburb and initially feels like it has little to offer. As you begin your trek on a paved path through a huge water reserve you slowly begin to realize that this trail has a whole lot to offer. It is 5.6 miles out and back and continues to get more difficult the closer you get to the summit. The last three hundred yards are especially trying as you are forced to scramble with your hands to reach the top. Once there, you are rewarded with a stunning 360 degree panoramic view of Las Vegas, Henderson and Boulder City. You can even see the solar energy power towers I reference in my first post which are located across the California state line.

  • Frenchman Mountain Trail – 

This is a rather demanding trail located in the North East area of Las Vegas. The trail is located directly on top of a fault line and offers some spectacular views at the summit. The trail itself is full of loose rocks, narrow pathways, an abundance of switchbacks and sections where hand holds become necessary. Approximately 5 miles round trip that will take somewhere between 4 to 5 hours to complete. Oh, did I mention that you can see Lake Meade in the distance? Not too shabby.

  • Red Rock Canyon – 

Me and my fellow Las Vegasonians are spoiled to have this gem in our backyard. There are numerous brick-red colored sandstone rock formations that will take your breath away at sunrise or sunset. Red Rock Canyon is a conservation area that offers more than just trail hiking. Other activities include mountain biking, rock climbing, scrambling, cycling, horseback riding and camping. There are 18 different hiking trails that cover every difficulty level from novice to expert. If your visiting Las Vegas and only have time to for a single hike then this is it.

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First Blog & First Post – Kill Two Birds With One Solar Energy Tower?

Hello All! Welcome to my new website & blog called Bioindhan. This is my first post for this blog and my first post ever. Two birds with one stone, nice!

Solar Energy Tower

In this first post I’d like to discuss a current issue that is near and dear to me. I live in the Las Vegas area and there is a massive solar energy company that has several solar energy towers located right across the Nevada border in California. These towers are having some major environmental impacts on local species of birds. The towers have thousands of mirrors on the ground surrounding them on all sides. The mirrors reflect light from the sun back up to the top of the towers where a ‘boiler’ receives the energy and converts it into steam, and then eventually electricity. The problem is that when birds are being killed when they pass through light being reflected from the mirrors to the boilers. This has been happening since 2013, when the solar towers went operational.

The United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) conducted a study that investigated “Avian Mortality at Solar Energy Facilities in Southern California.” The findings were very telling. Hundreds of bird remains where discovered and examined. Over 70 different species of birds were identified, with Yellow-rumped Warbler and House Finch making the largest percentage of avian deaths. The two leading causes of death were ‘impact trauma’ and ‘solar flux’ in that order. Many of the birds were determined to have experienced heat damage to their body and/or feathers prior dying as a result of impact trauma. Any damage done to a bird’s feather structure can have a very negative impact on its ability to fly or survive. In order for feathers of a bird to be singed the temperature must be at least 830 degrees Fahrenheit. The only place where the temperature reaches 800 – 900 degrees Fahrenheit are at the solar towers.

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