[I was hoping for more discussion. "Volcanoes" bad, but how about this
Our local park has pecan trees growing in topsoil-depleted, compacted,
limestone rock and sand, high PH. The trees apparently survived by a
sprinkler system, that became defunct years ago. Rain runs off before much
soaks into the well draining "soil". The trees are suffering with more ends
of their limbs dying off each year.
Here's what we did. We ringed the trunk with fence to protect the root
flare, and added a 18' diameter fence around that. We have about a foot of
slowly composting, damp but not soggy, leaves inside the fence. We're also
covering the rest of the park with composted wood mulch.
The advantages of retaining soil moisture, getting some biota going,
especially worms, and getting organic nutrients into the soil were our
Given your concerns, do any apply to our experiment?
As stated in the previous posting, composting leaves will
actually draw nitrogen from the surrounding soil. So I would recommend first
the leaves separately and then applying them, after break down, to the
tree area. That foot of leaves is mostly air and will not give a large amount
of insulation, as would
previously composted material. Chopped up leaves would help
a bit to compact the layer. Although its a lot of work, you should loosen the
compacted dirt around the drip line
of the trees to allow nutrients to enter more easily, being careful not to
damage any of the tree roots in the process.
If the soil contains a lot of sand, it should make loosening of the soil an
easier task. You might
also want to add some slow decomposing fertilizer, like cow manure, to restore
soil, mixing it into the top layer of soil. Here in the Midwest, our clay soil
has poor drainage,
and so I have to add sand to my trees.
cat daddy wrote:
<g> Yeah, some people even asked if the leaf piles were where we should
put the dog poop. As least they asked.......... }:-/
Speaking of fresh, it would be amusing (for a while) to see which dogs
have that penchant for rolling in stinky stuff. After they chase me down and
corner me in the back of the park, it might be less amusing......
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