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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 10:11 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 8:38 am
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Trees succumb to insect pests and diseases because they are in stress and sick. Mother Nature then sends in the clean up crews. The bugs and pathogens are just doing their job ? trying to take out the unfit plants. Most sickness is environmental ? too much water, not enough water, too much fertilizer, wrong kind of fertilizer, toxic chemical pesticides, compaction of soil, grade changes, ill-adapted plant varieties and/or over planting single plant species and creating monocultures, such as American elms in the Northwest and red oak/live oak communities in certain parts of Texas.

My plan is simple. Keep trees in a healthy condition so their immune systems can resist insect pests and diseases. It has been noticed by many farmers and ranchers that oak wilt doesn?t bother some trees - especially those that are mulched and those where the natural habitat under trees has been maintained. There?s only anecdotal evidence so far but we have seen excellent results from the following organic program that is called The Sick Tree Treatment:

1) REMOVE EXCESS SOIL FROM ABOVE ROOT BALL. A very high percentage of trees have been planted too low. Soil on top of the root ball smothers the tree and leads to circling and girdling roots. Soil, or even heavy mulch, on trunks keeps the bark constantly moist which can rot or girdle the tree.

2) AERATE THE ROOT ZONE HEAVILY. Start between the drip line and the trunk and go far out beyond the drip line. A 7-12? depth of the aeration holes is ideal but any depth is beneficial. An alternative is to spray the root zone with a living organism product or bio-stimulant.

3) APPLY TEXAS GREENSAND at about 40-80 lbs./1,000 sq. ft., lava sand at about 40-80 lbs./1,000 sq. ft., horticultural cornmeal at about 10-20 lbs./1,000 sq. ft. and sugar or dry molasses at about 5 lbs./1,000 sq. ft. Cornmeal is a natural disease fighter and sugar is a carbon source to feed the microbes in the soil.

4) APPLY A 1? LAYER OF COMPOST followed by a 3-5? layer of shredded native tree trimmings. Native cedar is the best source for mulch. In turf use a 1? layer of horticultural cedar flakes.

5) SPRAY FOLIAGE AND SOIL MONTHLY OR MORE OFTEN IF POSSIBLE WITH GARRETT JUICE (see formula below.) For large-scale farms and ranches, a one-time spraying is beneficial if the budget doesn?t allow ongoing sprays. Adding garlic tea to the spray is also beneficial while the tree is in trouble.

PESTICIDES. Pesticides kill the beneficial nematodes and insects. Fake fertilizers are destructive to the chemistry, the structure and the life in the soil.[/b]

Shepherd of the Trees
It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields we know so that those who live after may have clean earth to till.

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