I have two large trees in my backyard. One is an oak and the other is an
ash. Currently the trees are surrounded by double stacked landscape timbers.
Behind the timbers, up to the trunks, dirt is piled 6-8 inches deep. I
suspect the previous owners did this since this piled dirt is the highest
points in the yard.
Here's my question. Would it be safe for the trees if I were to remove all
the excess dirt surrounding them bringing the level back to the rest of the
yard? The dirt has been there for at least five years.
I'd say you'd be doing those trees a favor, but if you're concerned with
the shock factor, you could remove it in stages. Dirt shouldn't be that far
up the trunk if I'm picturing your description right.
You know, the thing with the dirt around the trees is kinda funny. Now,
I see that what's popular at universities and corporate sites is the
making of dirt rings around the trees, where a nice tidy circle is cut
maybe 3 feet from the trunk circling the tree with a mini ditch less
than a foot deep. Then, they pile the dirt up to the tree making a
little incline. Go figure. Form before function I guess.
I never liked the look of that at our local university campus. They
began that about ten years ago. Never really having considering the matter,
I just happened to realize that it might have a real function. College age
students like to hang out somewhere between classes. Trees are a fine spot -
shade provides for easier book reading and the tree trunk makes for good
back support. Much better than studying a few feet from the trunk and having
to support your own back. This makes for a lot of wear and tear around the
tree which might eventually affect tree longevity. The mulched or dirt
incline makes it more difficult to lean against the tree due to slippage and
the students clothes are more likely to get dirty thereby keeping students
at a distance.
Just my own theory, Merle
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