Q: Do melaleuca trees use up more water than other trees?

A: A single melaleuca tree does not necessarily use up, or transpire, any more water than a single tree of any other species. But a melaleuca forest may transpire more water than the sawgrass prairie it most likely replaced. In addition, the melaleuca canopy partially intercepts rainfall, preventing it from reaching the ground and moistening the soil. Finally, melaleuca leaf litter falling to the ground raises the soil level and further contributes to drying of the invaded site.