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RE: problem tree roots

I hope to plant during Xmas (wanted to do this about 2 months ago- but life
didn't allow it)  Since we never freeze, I think most things will be fine,
some will get planted when they are dormant, so I'll just need to make sure
not to bury anything below the existing level in the pots.

oh well- better late than never.  I'm sure the plants will be happy to get
out of the pots and off of my back porch.


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net [mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net]On
Behalf Of Marge Talt
Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2003 8:22 PM
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Subject: Re: [CHAT] problem tree roots

Well, Theresa, if the tree liked that extra soil on the first go then
it's likely it is going to behave more like a maple and not mind it
this time.  Good your mix is light - I have found light mixes don't
bother trees much because they are so open that they don't cut out
the air to the tree roots.  What you don't want to do to any tree is
add a foot of nice stolid clay over their roots:-)

One other trick that can make a difference if you have to raise grade
on an existing large tree is to put down several inches of 3/4"
gravel first.  This helps keep air and water flowing for the existing
roots.  But, some trees will resent it and some won't.  Looks like
yours is grateful:-)

If you can plant this fall, your plants will get a head start on the
tree roots.  I have gone into the bed under the maple many times and
lifted, divided and topped it up - removing large chunks and wads of
maple feeder roots in the process.  Maple seems quite happy and goes
about replacing feeder roots and occupying new soil with a vengeance.

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
Current Article: Spring Peepers
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> From: Theresa <tchessie@comcast.net>
> Thanks Marge.
> This is a revamp of an earlier, smaller project.  2 years ago, I
built the
> raised bed around the tree with small blocks.  It's on a slope so
one side
> as minimal additional soil, while the other side was about 12
inches deep.
> The tree actually loved it- grew more and looked better than ever.
So now
> the wall (with larger blocks) is going all around the front yard (2
side- we
> live on a corner)  So that same tree will now be all little deeper
in soil
> on the one side, and will eventually fill the entire area with
feeder roots
> I'm sure (just like it had for the bed around it).  It is actually
a very
> large tree (it's easily twice as tall as the house and quite broad)
and has
> many large surface roots all around it.  The one large one we cut
off has
> about 10 more like it that I know of.  The other few roots we cut
> relatively small.
> My hope is that if I get as many of the plant in ASAP, then they
will have
> the winter rains to help get their roots setting and growing.
Also, I do
> plant on overfilling the beds, in hopes that they won't sink too
low, since
> I'm not sure that I'll ever get the plants dug and lifted in the
> Thanks for the reminder about the "sinkage factor".  The soil I'm
> with is a lovely mix of compost, sand and top soil- so not too
heavy and
> definitely prone to sinking.

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