Many young trees, especially young birch trees, very often suffer from
what we now know, world wide, as "flowers disease." People choose
a tree as the perfect site for a spring garden. We all have seen hundreds
of bulbs and annuals planted around young trees. We then see insect borers
or twig dieback along with sun scold and frost cracks. Most of the trees
usually die. During the planting of the flowers or bulbs they injure the
roots and they usually heavily fertilize the plants. Even more injurious
each year is cultivating the soil around the tree. The only treatment is
to be on guard and keep the trees well watered while removing dying wood
properly. One alternative is to bring in an old rotten log and place this
log under the tree. The old rotten logs act as big sponges and thus being
a moisture reserve for the tree during extensive dry spells. They will
cultivate no soil and microorganisms take winter vacations in the logs.
Then plant ferns or flowers within the log. ONLY FERTILIZE WITH ORGANIC
FERTILIZER IF NECESSARY. Note: Choosing flowers that would do well in
the shade would be wise if the area is shaded.
When watering, water away from trunk and just enough to moisten the
non-woody roots. Do not over water. On
newly planted trees, please water the root ball area well 2 times. Do not
make a well. After two good waterings then water away from trunk so roots
grow outward. Making a well would be like planting the tree in a pot.
Diagrams from The Desk of John A. Keslick Jr.
Call us for other ORGANIC FACT SHEETS on pruning and other tree care
John A. Keslick, Jr.
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Keslick & Son Modern Arboriculture
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