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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2003 2:43 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 12:40 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Fort Worth, TX
My background: I have lived my adult life in apartments. This is my first house and it has lots of trees. I have no experience what so ever with caring for trees. :shock: And some of my trees are very sick. :cry:

From Howard's 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.

I think I understand the whole root ball concept but I am scared of digging around my trees.
:?: My question: When I start removing soil, how do I recognize the root ball? Do I stop digging when I see little roots or big roots? How far out (from the trunk) is a typical root ball? Is this something like a drip line?

Thank You very much!!!
- Emily in Fort Worth

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2003 3:51 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:18 pm
Posts: 1093
Location: McKinney,TEXAS
You may be new but you are a good student. You should be concerned about digging around the root ball. If you start scraping away with a blunt steel tool you will probably scrape some of the bark and damage the roots. That's why the professionals use an air spade, which blows the dirt off using high pressure. This is not practical for a homeowner to do so start scraping but do it slowly. As you reach the roots you might try using a high-pressure nozzle on your water hose to finish the job. It will be obvious when you get there. You only have to go out a foot or two to be effective. If you see roots circling the tree, cut them off as close as possible to the tree.
Tony M

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