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 Post subject: Are these trees toast?
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 3:37 pm 
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I have 4 Sweet Gum trees in my back yard that are all in close proximity, but two have some pretty rough looking scars on them that have me worried. I have started the process of removing soil from around the trees, as they were all planted 4-6" to deep (no root flares), but am wondering about these wounds.
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I plan on digging down to the root flares and leveling my yard at that point since I am getting ready for dirt work in my yard anyways and the back yard is too high. Can I just preform the sick tree treatment on these? I have been told I need to spread out some ironite out under these trees or they get chloratic, is this correct?
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Mike


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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 7:42 pm 
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The sick tree treatment can't hurt and it might very well help. The tree has to heal and can eventually seal that wound as the bole gets larger. Even if these trees died, the soil would be in better shape for the next trees after you've been working to try to save these.

What are the condition in your yard? How much water do these trees get, have they been exposed to chemicals, and what do you suppose caused those wounds?

I had a redbud tree clobbered by a wind storm, it knocked it sideways. It wasn't very old (maybe 5 years in the ground). I did the sick tree treatment after the storm and the next year the growth was incredible.

Good luck!

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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 6:52 pm 
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I cant say as to the past 17 years (when the house was built, I am assuming the trees are about that old) but I have never put anything down for them. And I really don't know what could of caused them. I don't do much watering, but during the summer I use my tractor sprinkler back there a couple of times a month. The back of the yard is much higher than the house on both corners, so when it rains hard it flows up against the house, hence the dirt work I mentioned that will be done.
Another thing I noticed while trying to get to the root flares was that these trees were in the pot a LONG time. There were a few gurgling roots wrapped around the base, but they were small enough I was comfortable removing them without worry. However, there are a few roots that you can tell grew upwards in the pot, and were not removed, and now are rather large. (over an inch) Is it safe to remove these without causing harm to the tree?


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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 8:49 pm 
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Roots that are above the root flare (coming out of the bole/trunk) are called adventitious, and they can be removed. You're talking about roots from below the flare that grew upward in the pot? Post photos, if you would.

I just saw your earlier remark about ironite. Don't use that, there are better methods, organic methods. If you do the sick tree treatment the greensand will take care of the iron requirements.

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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 6:03 pm 
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Not the best pics, but it should give you an idea. Am I mistaken and these are actual roots that need to stay? I have gone down about 6" on two trees and found the root flares, but these two I have not found a "flare" but these sideways roots.


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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 9:39 pm 
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How much dirt did you remove? That doesn't look like a flare yet, those roots look like the adventitious ones I mentioned. In your top photo, in the center of the page where we see the bark going directly down into the dirt, that part of the bole looks like it's just at the flare, but the flare needs to be exposed. I think you're close, but not quite there yet. Be very careful in exposing it, don't damage the bark or the real roots.

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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 9:36 am 
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I am about 4-6" down so far, you can tell by the change in color in the pictures, what was unearthed is much darker. I am being methodical in the dirt removal process, using a small shovel and a leaf blower to create my own "air spade". It is time taking, but I don't want to dish out the cash to rent one.


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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 9:55 am 
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That's understood! Do the work slowly and carefully. Your trees are probably breathing easier already.

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