Q: Is melaleuca drying up the Everglades?

A: Perhaps not. Melaleuca was long thought to to increase evapo-transpiration rates over what naturally occurred in the vast sawgrass marsh, and was even planted years ago in attempts to dry up the Everglades. However, recent research does not support the notion that melaleuca draws more water out of the ground than does native vegetation. Bottom line: it’s difficult to test, and we cannot definitively say one way or the other.