Tree conundrum

Hello,
I have an eight year old Russian Olive that has fallen over twice in the past two years. It literally ended up lying on the ground. It was lifted upright twice as well.
The probable reason that it has fallen over is because its roots system is very poor. Ie. instead of growing vertically they have grown horizontally. This is likely because there is a clay or hard deposit right below its roots.
I have a few stakes set up now and without them the tree would likely fall over again in the coming weeks. I watched it today (very windy) and the entire trunk, right down to the soil, was swaying. Its current existence is definitely in jeopardy.
So I'm asking for advice on what I can do to secure its life. That said, I'm not inclined to spend much money to do this. It really grew by leaps and bounds this summer, so lifting it up again, as two of us did in the spring, will not be possible. Unless three or for people or machines are brought in ($$$).
TIA Ric
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A pick axe isn't so expensive. Spend a weekend busting up the subsoil, and give the tree a proper planting hole.
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Dig a better hole (through the hardpan) and plant a new tree. Russian olives are not, imho, one of the finer landscape trees out there, unless you're dealing with really rugged conditions. This one has been badly stressed, and is unlikely to grow as well as a freshly planted one in a properly dug hole.
Two stories for you: When I was a kid in the midwest, we used to get windstorms on a fairly regular basis. The subdivision builder had planted a bunch of siberian elms (Ulmus pumila) because they grew fast. Not a wonderful species... weak-wooded, poor root structure. I had one right outside my bedroom window, and one night the tree came right through to visit me, pinning me to the bed. Luckily, the big branches were on either side of me, and I wasn't hurt, but it didn't help me trust trees for many, many years.
The other is more recent: in 1987, a windstorm at Kew, England, did an amazing amount of damage, knocking over hundreds of mature trees of many species. The first thing they noticed was that most were very shallowly rooted... they'd been planted over a hardpan and never developed enough anchorage to withstand a heavy wind. .
Long and short: big trees on hardpan are big trouble.
BTW: here's the mural made from wood of the 800+ trees that went down in the Kew windstorm:
http://travel.designwest.com//England/Kew/images/Kew1-07.jpg
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Kay Lancaster wrote:

Great stories Kay! Enough to scare anyone away from trees for life!
I agree that R.Olives aren't the finest of tree specimens, however this one has a bit of sentimental value to me. And although it has been badly stressed it has shown tremendous resilience. The growth that it put on this summer alone is quite remarkable.
It was lying along the ground all through the winter. I was planning on leaving it in that position and letting it grow upright from there. But a neighbour came by and was strong enough to help lift it upright again.
Late last summer when it had fallen over, I started to dig around the roots to see if I could dig down and make a proper hole. But I quickly started to hit its roots (which were just a foot under the ground) and didn't want to risk killing them.
If I were to follow JoeSpare's advice (replant/move), which would involve digging in many directions for many feet (I'd say at least 12 feet) could the tree survive the cutting of main root systems?
This is one heck of a heavy tree now. 15-20 feet high, 8 inch trunk. Even three guys now would have a tough time moving it.
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Yup, and what did I do? Go into botany. <g>
Now, ya wanna hear some stories about widowmakers? (dead limbs hung up in canopy, ready to fall.) <g>

I wouldn't try it without a treespade, and they don't come cheap. I'm in an area of the country known for lots and lots of tree nurseries (with lots and lots of treespades), but I don't think I've ever seen one as rental equipment.
I hate to be such a naysayer, but I honestly don't think this is more than a cut your losses, try again sort of scenario. One thing that may have happened is that there may have been sufficient breakage of phloem in the stem when you righted it that photosynthate isn't going to translocate to the roots this fall. Next spring, the roots will use up part of their reserve sending out goodies to push out next years' leaves. And next fall, once again, the photosynthate won't get to the roots. And the following spring, more reserves will be transferred to push out leaves... lather, rinse, repeat until the roots are exhausted and the tree seems to suddenly die (this is what happens when you "ring" the bark on a tree).
My freshman botany teacher told the class about killing trees by beating on the bark all the way around the circumference with a baseball bat, breaking the phloem connection. Sounded a bit urban legendish to me, so I tried it on some trash trees (descendents of that siberian elm that came in to visit me). Took a couple of years, but every siberian elm I beat up on died. Ok, so it wasn't an urban legend. I've always had to experiment.
You sound like you, too, might have an experimental streak. If you don't mind the labor involved and it's not likely to fall on anything expensive when it dies, go for it. Me, I've got an old, tired back, and digging great big holes isn't my idea of fun anymore. <g>
Kay
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Hi Kay,
Thanks for your tips!
My loyalty to this house isn't all that strong. I may be moving in the next year or so. So as much as I'd like to see this tree survive and grow to great heights, I'm not about to break my back or my bank account for this to happen. I guess I'll shift my focus now to the greater powers that be.
Eric
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