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Author Topic: So I've got this tree in my yard...  (Read 3052 times)

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Offline David B

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So I've got this tree in my yard...
« on: February 03, 2009, 04:14:23 PM »
Hi all. I'm David. I signed up a year or two ago when I was doing a large Salt Cedar removal project for some friends. I'm a  every once in a while sawyer...haven't been around much, but here I am back!

Anyway I've got this tree in my yard. I live in El Centro, CA. Hot and dry. The tree is kinda evergreen lookin' (I'll get some pictures). It's been there for years and years. It has some dead limbs. A few years ago it had some and I climbed up there and busted (EDIT: Trimmed) them off and my mom says she thinks it grew back green after that and needs it again.

Another thing, the ground here is clay on the surface and sandy a couple feet down. My granpda made a "deep-waterer" which is a 1/2" pipe about 3-4' long that he hooks a garden hose up to and pokes some holes around the base of the trees a few feet out and shoots some water down there . He figures the sprinkler water doesn't get down thru the clay.

What's the expert's take on all this? The tree shades my house = saves me money on A/C, so I don't wanna lose it.


Thanks.
SE Calif. 2139, 2050, 2252, 49SP, 2159, 2166, 6100, 395xp...and a few projects....

Offline Kevin

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Re: So I've got this tree in my yard...
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2009, 05:26:11 PM »
If you really need it saved call an arborist .
If it's just to remove a few dead branches cut them at the branch collar don't break them off and don't cut them flush at the tree.

Offline Riles

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Re: So I've got this tree in my yard...
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2009, 05:35:38 PM »
A good picture would be helpful because tree ID can make a difference in the advice you get. We likes pictures and we likes tree ID contests.

Until then, here's some generic advice.

Busting off dead branches doesn't usually trigger new growth. It can increase light to inner branches, minimize places for diseases to start or spread, reduce humidity and the chances for fungal infections, minimize insect problems, and improve safety. Good for tree health, but not necessarily a trigger for new growth. Taking off live branches can trigger new growth, but you don't usually see that in evergreens.

Most trees get the majority of their water and nutrients from the roots that are relatively close to the surface. Push the water a foot into the ground and you may be below the root zone and wasting most of it. (Capillary action is when the water is pulled up through the soil by the attraction between water molecules. Deep watering helps here because there needs to be a continuous link between molecules. Once the link is broken, capillary action stops.)

Your clay soil holds more water and nutrients than the sandy soil. You don't need a "deep waterer" as much as you need a "slow waterer". If the water runs off (more likely on the clay than the sand), then your grandpa is right, the tree's not getting it.

Take a step back and look at the tree overall. Trees don't live forever and trees in captivity don't usually live as long as trees in the wild. Leaves should be a healthy green, crown full, bark uniform. Dead branches are a sign of aging (including natural self-pruning), disease or injury.

To keep the tree healthy, prune the dead wood (do it right, don't just bust 'em off). Water it slowly, test the soil to see if you need fertilizer, mulch the base, don't use string trimmers around it, and don't compact the soil.
Knowledge is good -- Faber College

Offline WDH

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Re: So I've got this tree in my yard...
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2009, 09:17:21 PM »
Clay holds and stores much more water than sand, where it generally percolates through.  I agree with Riles that very slow watering will allow the water to get held and stored by the clay and be more available for the tree roots.  The fine roots are almost always located near the surface since roots have to breathe just we do.  Below a clay layer, root respiration may be reduced, and the water in that zone will do less for the tree because the roots are not in shape to take advantage of it.
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Offline David B

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Re: So I've got this tree in my yard...
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2009, 09:46:01 PM »
Very interesting so far, thanks guys...keep it coming. Pics will be forthcoming.
SE Calif. 2139, 2050, 2252, 49SP, 2159, 2166, 6100, 395xp...and a few projects....

Offline chep

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Re: So I've got this tree in my yard...
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2009, 04:49:06 PM »
One of the most beneficial acts that you can do for your tree is put down some nice chips or bark mulch (2-4 inches deep) all the way from the trunk out to the dripline of the tree. In your hot area it will help hold keep that clay cool and allow the water to hang out a little bit longer. Over the years as the mulch/chips break down they will add nutrients and organic materials to the soil around your asset.  Water holding ability will increase, and the tree will be more vigorous. Be careful not to over mulch, a layer that is too thick can bring negative results. Maintain your chips over the years, every year or two add some chips, you can even spread composted material in with your chips (you have a compost right? wink..) Good luck

Offline David B

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Re: So I've got this tree in my yard...
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2009, 12:31:21 AM »
Tried posting pics from --Photos MUST be in the Forestry Forum gallery!!!!!--...no worky. So here's a link to the album.

--Photos MUST be in the Forestry Forum gallery!!!!!--.com/albums/r118/DavidWhymore/My%20Misc%20Pictures/

Oh....OK lemme go figger out how to post 'em on the FF....sigh.
SE Calif. 2139, 2050, 2252, 49SP, 2159, 2166, 6100, 395xp...and a few projects....


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