Bad Soil?

Nothing grows in my backyard. The grass is not good grass and the trees are dying. Is there a way for me to fix the soil so the dying trees will live again? Thanks
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On 29 Mar 2007 19:08:02 -0700, "Healthy Stealthy"

Do a search for a Storey book titled:
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The trees are probably goners... trees take a long time to die, and it's usually that they're well on the way out by the time someone notices, in my experience. And whatever they're dying of might not be soil related. Have you submitted samples to your extension service for diagnosis?
As to the soil, I'd strongly suggest a good soil analysis for starters. Compaction, lack of light, lack of water, too much water, hard wear -- all these are possibilities for your poor lawn without even dragging soil chemistry into it. If the soil analysis shows some problems, you should probably correct them before replanting, or choose something that tolerates your soil.
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First of all, it's hard to grow grass under trees. The right grass has to be planted. Now what makes you think the trees are dying? What sort of trees are they? How big are they? What zone are you in? How long have they been there?
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Soil http://home.ccil.org/~treeman/sub3.html
Sincerely, John A. Keslick, Jr. Arborist http://home.ccil.org/~treeman and www.treedictionary.com Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology. Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss.

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take a test kit and send in smales of your soil, then you'll know what needs to be adjusted.
--
There are those who believe that life here, began out there, far across the
universe, with tribes of humans, who may have been the forefathers of the
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Where do you live?
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Note - I have worked on optimum fertility levels for trees. The problem at this time with sending soil samples to Universities is that they make recommendations for corn most of the time. I know of no one having optimum fertility levels for trees. My recommendations of adding composted wood chips and leaves properly as a mulch would help increase soil health. If interested in more detail contact me. The other thing is starting on the right path by properly planting trees and selecting healthy trees to start. many of your problems may be that the trees were not planted correctly. TREE PLANTING http://home.ccil.org/~treeman/sub1.html
SOIL MANAGEMENT http://home.ccil.org/~treeman/sub3.html
I do agree that many problems start with the soil. See this article for more detail: http://home.ccil.org/~treeman/shigo/RHIZO.html
and http://home.ccil.org/~treeman/shigo/CHEM.html
And then comes the possibility that your trees were improperly pruned. This can cause a whole list of problems.
Again if you are interested in talking about these topics in more detail contact me at: 610-864-5251
Sincerely, John A. Keslick, Jr. Arborist http://home.ccil.org/~treeman and www.treedictionary.com Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology. Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss.

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I suppose some universities might lean in the direction of testing soil for farm crops, especially in states that are focused on agriculture. However, here in Wisconsin at least, you can specify the "crop" recommendation you need from a list of 9 categories that break down to 41 specific crops. For example, there are 41 crops listed in the fruit category alone.
That said, I agree with an earlier poster that there are many other conditions besides soil quality, and I suspect that soil quality is usually the last on the list of culprits.
So then, the lawn: If there are a lot of trees or the trees that are there have heavy canopies, it could simply be that the lawn doesn't get enough sun or water to thrive. If there is heavy shade, make sure you're growing a grass that's suited to shade. Even then, you may have to water manually if the area under the trees is blocked from getting an inch of water a week.
Then the dying trees: Someone else raised the questions of what makes you think they're dying, what type of trees, where do you live, etc. That info would help a lot to get a better idea of what might be going on.
Regards, Soozie Cue
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