Understanding Microclimates

Weather refers to the clouds, wind, precipitation and air temperature.

Climate refers to the weather experienced throughout the year of a particular area.

Microclimate refers to the climate of a small area usually only a metre or 2 wide. Such a small area can have its own micro-ecosystem whether the microclimate, soil and permanent and visiting organisms affect each other.

Planting a Frangipani
When planting a single plant or tree, it’s important to think about the possible positions and the microclimates of each position. The position will greatly affect how well the plant will grow and can even be the difference in surviving or not.

Understanding The Microclimate of Your Chosen Position
Sunlight-Observe how much sunlight and how much shade the position gets.
Wind-Observe how much air moves and whether the air comes from a warm or cool place.
Soil Quality-Dig a hole and see if the soil type, for example sand, clay or composted material.
Soil Drainage-Fill the hole with water and observe how long it takes to disappear.
Surroundings-Take note of surrounding objects which can hold and reflect heat onto the position.

To completely and fully understand a microclimate, an area should be observed for several year including all seasons and throughout all possible weather patterns however studying an area for 10 minutes and hopefully recalling summer and winter sun positions and past heavy rainfalls should give a good enough understanding of its suitability for planting a frangipani.

Preferred Microclimate Qualities For Frangipanis
Heat – If an area heats up and maintains heat, a frangipani will thrive.
Sunlight – An established frangipani tree can handle full sun however half sun half shade is sufficient.
Well Drained Soil – Soil which is constantly wet will cause frangipani roots to rot which could spread up into the trunk and be fatal.