Thread: Tree troubles; please advise.

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  1. #11
    Acorn
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Brown City, Michigan
    Posts
    17

    RE: Tree troubles; please advise.

    Here's 3 of 4 photos;






    [URL=http://img229.imageshack.us/i/norwaymaple04.jpg/][IMG]http://img229.imageshack.us/img229/

  2. #12
    Acorn
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Brown City, Michigan
    Posts
    17

    RE: Tree troubles; please advise.

    And one more;

  3. #13
    Acorn
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Brown City, Michigan
    Posts
    17

    RE: Tree troubles; please advise.

    As you might guess, I need lots of mulch but trees are worth it + we've made a considerable investment.
    As for an arborist, non locally, are free as Upperhand suggested, but I feel I've received good advice right here.
    Upperhand;
    the best root accelerator I can find locally is 5-20-20. Should I wait until the leaves fall to use it or is it OK to use now as it is to stimulate root growth, not new leaves/branches?

  4. #14
    Oak
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    NE Tennessee
    Posts
    108

    RE: Tree troubles; please advise.

    I would be very careful with applying phosphorous in an area that close to water with poor drainage. Do you have fish in the pond? Now is not a good time to do any fertilization. Have you had the soil tested? It doesn't cost much and you really shouldn't fertilize without proof of deficiency. The best thing you can do for your trees is to encourage soil microorganisms. Use natural slow release fertilizer (mulch). I am an arborist. If you ask ten of us about fertilizer you will get ten different answers. The bottom line is that there is no one size fits all answer. The best thing for trees is as close to nature as possible. Remember in the medical field "prescription without diagnosis is malpractice". The same is true for trees. I am not trying to discredit upperhand's county arborists advice but it may not be right for your trees. You have steersard trees, it isn't good to fertilize stressed trees. My reccomendation...mulch, don't overwater, and be patient. See what they do in spring. Trees have their own survival techniques developed over thousands of years.
    "EDUCATION begins when you question something. EDUCATION occurs when you have resolved your doubts" Alex Shigo

  5. #15
    Oak
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Western NY, Zone 6
    Posts
    348

    RE: Tree troubles; please advise.

    GARoss -

    I do agree with watsont regarding being cautious before you fertilize. As he mentioned, if you have ponds or other sources of water nearby, avoid any fertilizers containing phosphorus. Additionally, a soil test is always a good idea - your county extension office can offer advice as to how to go about collecting soil samples from your property, it's best to take some samples from different areas of your yard, as you'd be surprised how much nutrient and pH variance there can be on opposite sides of your yard. I would not fertilize now only because we're approaching the hottest (and usually the driest) portion of the Summer. It would be best to wait until the Fall when the trees have lost their leaves and are in a dormant state.

    Now, all that aside, it sounds like you're on the right track - mulch, mulch, mulch - a 3-4" layer around the root zone of your trees is ideal, don't mulch all the way up to the trunk of the tree, leave a 3" gap around the trunk. As the mulch breaks down, it will add nutrients to the soil around the tree. Another great way to get some natural fertilizer is to add some earthworms - releasing earthworms into the tree soil is good for aeration as well as fertilization. Water the root zone as needed during dry weeks.

  6. #16
    Oak
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sylva NC zone 7
    Posts
    276

    RE: Tree troubles; please advise.

    You can get free mulch from your local city town office they give it away its made from the brush they get from yard trimmings they pick up on street corners where people have put brush out for them to pick up.

  7. #17
    Oak
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    NE Tennessee
    Posts
    108

    RE: Tree troubles; please advise.

    Also...wood ashes are a good source of potassium and phosphorous that will break down slowly and naturally. I would recommend mixing it with the mulch when you mulch your trees. Also...start composting....it's the best thing for trees and shrubs. you can add natural suppliments into the compost pile (blood meal, bone meal, wood ash, etc.) Just make sure you don't use any ashes from treated lumber. If you contact a local tree service, most will gladly dump a load of wood chips for you... it is best to let them decompose some before using. Green chips will "lock up" Nitrogen for a short time until the Carbon/Nitrogen ratio balances. Good luck.
    "EDUCATION begins when you question something. EDUCATION occurs when you have resolved your doubts" Alex Shigo

  8. #18
    Acorn
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Brown City, Michigan
    Posts
    17

    RE: Tree troubles; please advise.

    I tried getting free mulch but could not locate any. My local Do It Best Center has a good price on mulch in 2 cf bags &, when doing the math, it works out close to what the nursery would charge for a similar amount.
    Should I trim the dead branches from the red maples (shown in the pictures on the 1st page of this post) now or in the fall or does it matter, being that they are dead?

  9. #19
    Oak
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Western NY, Zone 6
    Posts
    348

    RE: Tree troubles; please advise.

    You can prune off dead branches at any time, but make sure what you are pruning is dead. Scratch a small area of the branch with a pocket knife or your fingernail, if it's green underneath, the branch is still alive (even though it may not have leaves shooting out of it), it will bleed profusely (sap, part of the healing process) if you cut into a live branch right now, which will stress the tree and possibly cause further damage and/or die back. If the branch is brown underneath the bark, you can safely prune it without consequence.

    To play it safe, you can wait until late Winter (February or March, before warm weather sets in) to do a more thorough pruning of that tree - you can take off the dead stuff, then prune the tree lightly (never remove more than 25% of live branches) so that it still retains its natural shape. I had an arborist come out this past March to prune a couple of my trees just to make sure it was done the right way. A tree with a lot of die back probably needs to be thinned out a bit in order to help get it back on track to be a full, healthy tree.

  10. #20
    pwk16
    Guest

    RE: Tree troubles; please advise.

    You need to take a nail or long wire and poke down to find the top roots. Almost all trees sold in nursery settings are planted too deep. A tree planted too deep will die a premature and costly death. Poke around and if you don't find a root in the top inch or two of soil then you'll probably want to dig up the trees this fall and raise them up.

    http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Home/urba...2/Default.aspx

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