Princeton Gold Maple problems

Discussion in 'Maples' started by hippychic37, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. hippychic37

    hippychic37 Member

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    I have a 12ft princeton gold maple that is suffering again this year. Very healthy when purchased from the garden center I work at!!!! Planted properly good soil & drainage. Mulched. In full sun as was recommended. Watered deeply once a week..although we have had alot of rain lately. Have a very heavy clay soil, but dug a more than sufficient size hole, new triple mix & bone meal. This year as last... some winter damage. The leader actually died. Came out beautiful though.very bright yellow leaves...then increasingly...noticed insect damage..picked off some tent caterpillars....& again the upper yellow leaves are all bleaching out. Lots of leaves seem scorched on edges..some brown spots....tree looks unhappy. Lots of faded leaves....underside seems darker lime green. Haven't noticed any leaves drop to the ground yet. Last year a few did but not all. It was fertilized this spring with Miracle Grow spikes put in properly away from trunk. Have had it looked at by 4 people with 25yrs experience..no-one has the answer. It was suggested that maybe it should be moved into partial shade....& using a systemic fungcide. Any suggestions??? I can send a pic tomorrow. This tree was planted last spring07. Mabye just in shock?? I really love it.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    Multiple errors mentioned in your description, including

    - Replacing existing soil with a planting mix (unless the entire potential rooting area for many years was replaced, rather than just a planting hole sized area)

    - Fertilizing with bone meal

    - Fertilizing with tree spikes

    - Suggestion of applying a fungicide without a specific reason for doing so

    As the roots go, so goes the whole tree. Investigate and review soil situation you have created to see if this is the cause of all or part of problems being seen with top. Excavating and replacing a heavy clay soil with a coarser soil can turn the planting hole into a collection point for water. This could result in pathogenic infestations causing such things as top dieback and leaf scorch. Otherwise this cultivar does not remain a strong yellow all summer anyway, it is true that it retains some yellowishness but not the same bright yellow as in spring.

    http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~Linda Chalker-Scott/Horticultural Myths_files/index.html
     
  3. hippychic37

    hippychic37 Member

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    not sure what you mean by replacing existing soil with a garden mix(soil w/manure/peat. A 4foot wide hole all around was dug...with bone meal in the hole at time of planting making contact with roots. The spikes are a once a season feed. Have planted 100 trees all this way on our property & all are thriving but this one. The fungacide was suggested because of the brown spot. If you are suggesting the soil I used is wrong.what would you recommend?
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    Same soil texture throughout rooting area and not pockets of different material (4' wide for a tree is a pocket). Other trees grew DESPITE pit planting procedure, use of bone meal etc. rather than because of it. Amending of planting hole backfill is thought to be beneficial because after roots of newly planted trees and shrubs escape the amended hole and root into the unmodified natural soil beyond, top growth increases. Healthy stock, if not damaged first by conditions in amended planting hole will root out of planting holes within a year after planting.

    See links at above site for more information about planting methods, bone meal and other topics.
     
  5. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    This is absolutely right and is a major cause of problems with planting in clay soils
    Ron ... why do you consider the addition of some bone meal to the planting hole to be a problem?
     
  6. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    hi see good the trunk ,have a hole ?or big branch have a hole?if yes the cause for not good health of you prigo is a caterpillar that made a gallery in the trunk...
    i have prigo (i posted in maples gallery see under)and another platanoides , grown good with a moderate watering,in total sun...for the hole i add a little 15/20% of new soil
    because the soil of nursery is different of my land , is a small help for the new life without pot...
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    See above link for a discussion of bone meal, it's in the list of links that appears on the page that opens.

    >i add a little 15/20% of new soil
    because the soil of nursery is different of my land , is a small help for the new life without pot<

    Use no soil amendments except in very specific conditions of raised or amended beds for plants with very limited root systems. If the existing soil is very poor, remove and replace with good field soil or place at least six inches of good field soil on the surface. However, you should match soil types as backfilling with good sandy loam in a heavy clay will serve as a collection point for water and the roots will suffocate. Soils amendments in a small planting hole do not assist plant establishment and growth. It is better to use the amendments as a mulch. The only exception is where the entire plant root zone for many years can be amended

    --Whitcomb, Establishment and Maintenance of Landscape Plants (1987, Revised 1991, Lacebark Inc., Stillwater)
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2008
  8. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    "It was suggested that maybe it should be moved
    into partial shade....& using a systemic fungcide.
    "

    I think some photos showing the entire tree and
    the leaf symptoms you are concerned about may
    be in order. I am curious as to why a few people
    felt this tree may need a systemic fungicide.
    That certainly is not a good omen for the tree
    right at a second transplanting when your main
    issue may be that the roots are not well developed
    yet to support the top growth as it is. With Winter
    injury to the tree there may also be some concern
    about root injury as well. Why risk further injury
    to the roots or risk some root growth suppression
    with a soil applied fungicide drench to what may
    be an already weakened root system or a root
    system that may not be developed enough yet to
    adequately support the rest of the tree?

    One thing to keep in mind is that nursery people
    and the intellectuals do not always agree in how
    a tree should be planted in the ground. A lot of
    times the intellectuals got their views from soils
    in their areas only - not really aware of how their
    concepts work in other areas with different soils
    than their prevalent soils and perhaps other soil
    limiting factors. What may pertain to how we go
    about planting trees in the ground in Florida with
    a clay loam based calcareous soil is going to
    differ in the method that may work for our area.
    Then again what nursery people do not always
    take into consideration is the possible range of
    soil types in a given area, even on the same
    property. So what may be okay for advice for
    a sandy loam with no soil obstructions for a Maple
    may not be the same advice that would apply
    20 x 20 feet away with the same soil type with
    an underlying and compacted clay layer. One
    tree may require amending at transplant and
    the other tree may only need to be backfilled
    with the same soil dug out when the planting
    hole was made.

    A heavy clay soil tells me some things but
    does not tell me what I would want to know
    and that is the infiltration rate of the water,
    the percolation rate of the water and with
    with the latter is there any standing water
    in the root zone for any length of time.
    Having the roots being able to breathe
    is of considerable, dire importance. The
    Whitcomb reference that Ron supplied
    is reasonable for what was, at that time,
    unconventional thinking for certain growing
    areas but later on through methodology
    became conventional wisdom that could
    be applied to many areas.

    Jim
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    Whitcomb and others got similar results from amending of planting hole backfill regardless of type of amendment used, soil type or geographic location. It is a fundamental point: if you give the backfill a different texture from the surrounding soil by amending the backfill sufficiently to produce this affect then how water moves into and out of the planting hole is also often affected in an undesirable way. Since changing the texture of the backfill is one of the main objectives of amending planting holes, materials and amounts that will change the texture are usually used.

    In 1970, a study was begun to try to determine the optimum amount of organic matter to add to the planting hole to aid establishment of woody plants. The study was conducted on the sand soils of North Florida using Canadian peat, vermiculite, pine bark, and colloidal phosphate (a clay-like material that holds considerable water), each at rates of 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, and 50% by volume of the planting hole...

    There was no benefit from any soil amendments at any rate either in the irrigated or non-irrigated area. Pine bark and to some degree, peat, restricted plant growth. Vermiculite had neither a beneficial nor detrimental effect. Colloidal phosphate was somewhat beneficial but inconsistent. All plants with all treatments in the irrigated plots were larger than those in the non-irrigated plots. However, the plant response to the treatments were about the same


    --Whitcomb, Establishment etc. (1991 revised edition)

    http://www.lacebarkinc.com/establish.htm
     
  10. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Linda Chalker's CV certainly reads well, but I see that even she has caveats to add to what Ron would have us believe are absolute fundamentals for plant happiness
    I myself have only about 50 years experience as a gardener, and I have never found the time to conduct studies that seem to prove one thing, and a few years later are contradicted by another
    I agree with Alex ... some amendment to the planting hole has always been a good system of work so far as I am concerned. It helps to get the plant off to a good start. I am not suggesting a total change of soil for just a small hole, with the plant to struggle shortly afterwards to send out roots. I am sure neither is Alex. I use a common sense approach for every different planting situation. Some bone meal added to the planting hole has never had any detrimental effect so far as I am aware, and it is something I have done for a long time and will continue to do as I really do believe that it has some beneficial benefits. I see that Linda Chalker even admits that her own views apply only to non agricultural soils. In this country practically every garden has been agricultural for many years before being developed. Surely the situation is the same in the States and elsewhere?
    For every 'intellectual's' viewpoint, there are a dozen conflicting sources of information. The moral of the story is that, just because you read it on the internet, doesn't mean it is true :)
     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    It is important to note that during these studies there were few, if any, visual signs of stress, deficiencies, or other problems. The plants with amended soils were simply smaller. This is probably why the practice persisted for so long unchallenged or unquestioned. If all the plants on a site received peat in the planting hole and there is no comparison without peat, all appear to be fine. It is also important to note that few plants died from the soil amendment treatments in any of these studies, thus success or failure is not at question, simply degree of success (and, of course, money spent). It is also of interest that there is no "magical" treatment to make a poor subsoil clay into a productive soil

    --Whitcomb (1991)
     
  12. barb1948

    barb1948 Member

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    How can I emai a question to Mr.Shep?
     
  13. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    clik on nick mr.shep! opps
    is only avaible option private message
     
  14. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Sam, one thing that some people in a
    forum format are hard headed about
    is that planting or growing practices
    that have worked for others may not
    apply to them. What we do not want
    to hear is someone telling us what
    has worked well for us is a don't do
    when they themselves have not done
    it or have yet tried to do it. There
    can be some major differences in
    how we may want to go about planting
    trees in a landscape or a home garden
    as opposed to planting fruit or nut
    bearing trees for commercial purposes.

    For many years it was taught around
    here to place fertilizers in the bottom
    of the hole prior to placing the tree
    in the hole at planting. For many
    trees this was not a problem but for
    a few trees it was a precursor for the
    trees demise when methane gas built
    up in the planting hole with no means
    to escape killed off root systems and
    later killed off the tree. Also, what we
    may do ourselves may not be the advice
    that we may give others. As in Maples,
    I will plant them right into the hot sun
    and warm winds without protection but
    I cannot recommend to others that they
    do this method of placing the tree right
    into harms way. I know what I want from
    the tree when I do it and I have some
    knowledge of what that tree should
    do in that location but others simply
    do not know what they are getting into.
    So we have to side with caution rather
    than pass along planting tips that they
    may not be able to get satisfactory
    results from their trees later on.

    I think from the Whitcomb reference
    that bone meal was not being ill advised
    when used as a top dress. I've used
    Cottonseed meal as a top dress for
    a commercial Citrus grove for many
    years. I would not be opposed to
    using bone meal or Cottonseed meal
    as a soil amendment but for me here
    to do that I'd want to place the backfill
    back into the hole, set my tree on top
    of the backfill and then I can fill in
    the rest of the hole with a hand mixed
    Cottonseed meal amended backfill
    to use as my soil to fill in the rest
    of the hole. Personally, I would not
    place bone meal at the bottom of the
    hole but others have and have had
    good results for them. It gets back
    to the old adage, if it works for you,
    why change it!

    Jim
     
  15. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    The one talking about bone meal at above link is Chalker-Scott, who concludes with

    • Bone meal supplies high levels of phosphorus and calcium, elements that are rarely limiting in
    non-agricultural soils.
    • Phosphorus, from bone meal or other sources, does not “stimulate” plant growth; it is only a
    mineral, not a plant growth regulator.
    • High levels of phosphorus, from bone meal or other sources, will inhibit growth of mycorrhizal
    fungi.
    • Without mycorrhizal partners, plants must put additional resources into root growth at the
    expense of other tissues and functions.
    • Before you add any supplementary nutrients to your landscape, have a complete soil test
    performed first.

    http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~Linda Chalker-Scott/Horticultural Myths_files/Myths/Bonemeal.pdf
     
  16. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    "It is better to use the amendments as a mulch."

    I believe this would include bone meal.

    We can play a tit for tat game if you want with
    the bulleted information. The only statement
    of those listed that is completely true is the last
    one. Then again how to interpret the results may
    require someone else that does not already have
    an agenda or the notion that various residual
    nutrients and minerals in the soil are not needed
    by the plant to promote growth. Ever heard of
    locked up nutrients in a soil and why the plant
    cannot readily utilize them?

    Why even have the testing done for landscape
    trees if there is an inherent negative, built in
    variable, with each and every mineral and nutrient
    under the auspices that they do not act like a plant
    growth regulator? How many do act like a plant
    growth regulator anyway?

    In each of the other statements errors of oversight
    have been mentioned. As an example: there are
    European soils that are deficient in Calcium and
    Phosphorous so I guess using bone meal as a soil
    amendment will not be useful since Phosphorous
    does not stimulate growth by Linda's assessment.
    Tell that to an Apple, Pear, or a Cherry grower in
    Washington that applied Calcium and Phosphorous
    are not needed or tell it to a Citrus grower in Texas
    that those Texans are being foolish to apply Calcium
    nitrate as a fertilizer to inadvertently suppress a leaf
    chlorosis condition. Of which the advanced chlorosis
    can in turn restrict the sizing of the fruit as well as
    the quality of the fruit upon maturity and along with
    reductions in yields combined with lower expected
    monetary returns.

    Phosphorous not needed to grow Alfalfa huh?

    Okay, why it is that much of the Oregon soils
    are severely lacking in available Calcium in
    their soils and why is it that Calcium carbonate
    applied to the soil helps with their Manganese
    issues they have with their field grown Maples?

    Mycorrhizal fungi are not seen in the soil in warm
    to hot areas - big time error of oversight. As an
    example, let's use a well known Citrus growing
    nursery near San Jose that gets all kinds of fungal
    activity in his rootstocks when grown indoors, in
    an atmospheric controlled room (not grown in a
    greenhouse) and then buds his scions onto those
    rootstocks and grows them on in the same facility.
    What happens to the mycorrhizal fungi as soon as
    he takes the trees outdoors and places those trees
    on a shade cloth covered area? Do I really need
    to tell where did the mycorrhizal fungi vanish to
    in such short order and why? Why is it that this
    prominent Citrus grower gave up on re-inoculating
    mycorrhizal fungi once the trees are outdoors?
    He does not need them now as was said to me, he
    got what he wanted earlier along in the rootstocks
    development. I agree with him. By the way,
    Sulfur is far more injurious to mycorrhizal fungi
    than Phosphorous. Tell that to a production field
    Tomato grower that Phosphorous is killing their
    mycorrhizal fungi when they were not expecting
    any measurable mycorrhizal activity in their
    plants where they are to begin with.

    What is the ability of Calcium that when readily
    absorbed by the roots or even by the leaves and
    is translocated throughout the plant aids in helping
    to limit the spread of Verticillium alboatrum in a
    Maple? Calcium is not needed huh? I just gave
    a few companies the best reason in the world to
    promote their fungicidal products and they don't
    even have to know the answer to the question.

    It is true that areas that have excess residual
    forms of Calcium in their soils can be injurious
    to some trees such as Pin Oak, some of the
    variegated Dogwoods and certain golden
    needled Conifers but to preclude the usage
    of applied Calcium for other plants stating
    there is enough Calcium in the soil already
    is just plain being silly.

    Jim
     
  17. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    Bone meal wouldn't be used for mulch, it doesn't have the right texture and is chosen for its nutrient content and used as a fertilizer.
     
  18. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Aw come on Ron. I am sure Mr Shep knows what a mulch is
    Isn't it clear that it is being suggested that the amendments should be added as part of the mulch?
     
  19. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    i repeat: if one garden man ,plant one native maple ,for ex.acer Opalus in Italy this maple grown really good ,with poor care ,but if i buy acer Davidii origin est world i prefers add a little sand ,mature fertilize of cow,pine bark.after 10 years that i grown
    maple this is my direct experience...
    ciao
     
  20. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    No controls = no basis for comparison. It's basic experimental methodology. If you plant a tree or some trees and give them all the same treatment, you don't know for sure that it helped unless you have a matching set of untreated ones present to tell you what would have happened at the same time and place, with the same subjects without the treatment.
     
  21. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    I'm trying something I read in a magazine that makes sense to me with my Tennessee clay soils (which in my case drain fine - I'm on a hill 120ft. above the valley floor):

    1.) DO NOT dig a planting hole. Take bags of high quality potting soil and make a raised mound on top of the ground. Make it thick. This should be quite a wide mound for a single plant.

    2.) Plant your selected cultivars.

    3.) Add mulch (I use pine straw).

    4.) Keep watered appropriately.

    5.) Let nature go to work.

    In 2 years supposedly the earthworms will have worked the potting soil and organic matter into the clay underneath. Add compost each year to the mound before topping off with mulch and your plants will have great soil, aqequate nutrients, and you never turned a shovel. There will be no issue with planting hole ammendments or forming a 'bathtub' for your plants.

    This intrigued me a bit. Aside from PH, the organic content of the soil seems to be the most important issue for healthy plants. Sandy soil is improved by it, as is clay soil. Putting nature to work mixing it all together makes the most sense of all. Earthworms dig deep tunnels between the surface and lower soil layers, and function as natural soil movers / mixers.

    So, I did this on the northeast side of my house as an experiement. I made a large raised bed entirely of store-bought potting soil. I used several different types to get a good blend of materials and mixed it all together. I then planted hostas, begoinias, ferns, and an A.s. 'Aureum - Full Moon' maple of considerable size. I mulched it all with pine straw and then added a box of earthworms from the bait store just to kick-start the whole thing. Now, time will tell if this is a viable approach...

    On the arguments about the fine details of nutrients or ammendments - if your plants are healthy what's the issue? If not, then dig deeper and find the cause. There would never be one answer or best practice on this, because every soil, climate, and growing requirement will vary, depending on the situation.

    Regards,
     
  22. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member

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    Kaitain4, please give us an update now and then -- I'm most interested in how well this plays out in the long run, especially with the Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum.'

    I feel right now as though my entire garden is an experiment in soil development. There is virtually no natural soil in any of the cleared area near the house -- though the site is surrounded by undisturbed woodland and wetland that has not been cut or drained for many decades.

    The "soil" near the house consists mostly of some kind of terrible, compacted builder's fill that seems to be a mixture of rocks and sand. In some places, the original soil that was excavated for the foundation hole has been bulldozed and flattened and compressed under the weight of heavy equipment. The exact composition of the fill seems to vary from one spot to the next, as does the depth to which roots need to penetrate to encounter the natural soil or subsoil buried underneath.

    All things considered, I'm quite pleased with how well the maples (and other plants) are doing. I've mostly planted them with minimal soil amendments and inoculated the roots with a mixture of mycorrhizae and bacteria that I got from the local garden center, and I feed them with either seaweed extract alone or mixed with fish emulsion. Apart from that, I mulch and re-mulch them with every kind of organic debris that falls out of the surrounding woodland or otherwise accumulates (such as grass trimmings) and I'm hoping nature will take it from there.
     
  23. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Re: Bone meal & mulch

    No, Bone meal in most arid locales was used
    for many years to add organic matter into the
    soil. Upon incorporation into the soil substrate
    or the soil medium, for container plants, we get
    some added oxygenation into the soil from it
    upon degradation. In more recent years people
    tend to look at the soil amendment issue solely
    as a means to incorporate nutrients into the soil,
    which was a tertiary benefit from meals for a
    long time. Primary importance should still be
    considered to add in organic matter.

    At one time mulches were considered to be a
    soil amendment and they will be upon breakdown
    rather that soil amendments now being thought of
    as being a mulch. The two are not the same at all
    but the methodology in some areas can be applied
    the same - wanting the same thing from both but
    the initial reasoning for using a mulch was not the
    same for many years as using a soil amendment
    was for a lot of people.

    Mulches were not used simply to add in organic
    matter to a soil. Green mulches and even green
    manure crops could harm tender, young, root
    systems - as an example: Oat stubble disced
    in and used as organic matter for a later field
    Tomato planting could harbor fungi that could
    cause some damping off issues of the seedling
    Tomatoes once germinated. We do not want that.
    Also, Corn stubble disced into the ground could
    harbor yellows viruses that could easily get in the
    Tomato plants system and cause all kinds of trouble.
    In neither case was the stubble used as a mulch per
    say as they were thought of at the time as adding
    in organic matter to a soil but we can get a water
    holding mulching effect from both stubble but
    we also have to be very mindful in what crop is
    grown next as part of a crop rotation pattern. In
    neither case was the stubble considered a soil
    amendment but the gypsum that was spread over
    the ground soon after the stubble was disced in
    was considered to be a soil amendment.

    Bone meal does have application to Maples at
    planting time as well as for container grown
    plants. The amount we apply in both cases
    is what may determine if we have any dilatory
    affects but when mixed in with soil, even a half
    to half ratio used as a secondary fill (from the
    surface of the root ball upwards to fill a planting
    hole) we should have enough quick breakdown
    to not worry too much about using it. In some
    of the Pacific Northwest soils I see adding in
    Bone meal as a topical applied soil amendment
    as being a rather prudent thing to do in areas that
    are lacking in organic matter content to their soils,
    such as in Medford and in some areas of Bend and
    Baker as well. Tundra soils such as in between
    Weed and Yreka, California, could get benefit
    from having meals spread over their soils and
    lightly worked in that will not only improve
    their water infiltration rates by lessening their
    amount of standing water but will add in free
    oxygen later on to the already oxygen deprived
    compacted soil.

    Jim
     
  24. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    Kaspian,

    Builders are notorious for destroying the soil around homes. I had the luxury of building my own home, and I did not allow ANY heavy equipment on the site. My brother and I marked out the outline of the home and hand-cut the trees that had to come out. I then had a small backhoe come pull out the stumps, which were hauled off the property. We caged off key trees to keep workers, cars and machines away; and we cleaned up the job site regularly to prevent the buildup of unwanted materials that would just get buried in the soil had they been allows to remain. After construction, I replaced or heavily amended all the soil in front of the house and created several raised berms of good topsoil , which I had brought in.

    I'm hopeful my little experiment works as well. The native soil here has a rich top layer, though it is thin, perhaps 2-3". Then we have about 18" of a lighter colored soil which is where I think earthworms have worked in all the leaf litter for many years. This isn't especially rich soil, but its definitely better than what lies beneath, which is thick, hard, red clay. Only the big tree roots can penetrate that stuff. So if my earthworms can get that top 18" enriched by turning in the potting soils, I'll be way ahead.


    Regards,
     
  25. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member

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    Were these any particular kind of earthworms? I'm very intrigued by this idea.
     

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