Thanks for the info. Two interesting well written articles about soil and
trees are here: Thought you might enjoy them. They are written by a man
who was a foremost authority on trees world wide. Or shall I say viewed by
many, mostly those who looked through his microscope with him. Many
It would be nice if they went to old growth forest and obtained optimal
fertility levels for trees (species specific).
A Touch of Chemistry
Troubles in the Rhizosphere
John A. Keslick, Jr.
Consulting Tree Biologist
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.
Some people will buy products they do not understand and not buy books that
will give them understanding.
That was interesting but another page, about how tree ferns can soak up
arsenic from contaminated land, was too. I was amused by the statement:
" ... ferns clean up contaminated soil by a process called phytoremediation.
A contaminant -- like arsenic -- is absorbed through the plant's roots. The
arsenic then moves up to the leaves where it's stored. The leaves can then
be cut off. "
And then what? How do you dispose safely of the leaves??
Yes, I saw that one, but wasn't sure if it would be of interest.
After all, how many of us gardeners have arsenic-y land? <g>
But now that the question has been raised, how/why DOES
land become contaminated with arsenic? Any chemists around
who might know whether it is a by-product of some industrial
or milit ary process?
Approximately 20 incidents of groundwater arsenic contamination have
been reported from all over the world.  Of these, four major
incidents were in Asia, including locations in Thailand, Taiwan, and
Mainland China.  South American countries like Argentina and Chile
have also been affected. There are also many locations in the United
States where the groundwater contains arsenic concentrations in excess
of the new Environmental Protection Agency standard of 10 parts per
Arsenic is a carcinogen which causes many cancers including skin, lung,
and bladder as well as cardiovascular disease.
So would the EPA. At present, a clay lined pit seems to be the only
answer. Sequestering arsenic with iron can remove/reduce arsenic from
drinking water but the arsenic becomes mobile again with time:-(
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