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Uncovering Buried Trees Yourself Newsletter


Uncovering Buried Trees Yourself

The first and most important step of the Sick Tree Treatment is removing the soil and mulch from the bases of the trees. Almost all trees and other woody plants have been planted too deeply. They are usually too deep in the containers when purchased from the nurseries, get planted too low and then have too much mulch added on top. The result is severely buried flares. The flares are part of the trunks (not the root systems) and should be exposed to air. The root flares (or trunk flares) of the trees should be dramatically exposed, not just barely exposed.

If you are very careful, this exposure can be done with hand tools and a leaf blower. I use the hori hori knife and battery-powered STIHL blower. The knife, or a chisel as Tyson Woods likes, should be used with the curved or beveled part of the blade facing down. The rest of the Sick Tree Treatment is to aerate the root system and then while the punched holes are still open, apply all the basic amendments we organic gardeners use for bed preparation: quality compost, lava sand, green sand (or Magic Sand by Ladybug), and whole ground cornmeal. If you need professional help make sure to hire a tree care company that understands the importance of exposed flares, has an air spade and uses organic techniques.

For members of the Organic Club of America, there is a video in the Member's Area of me using these tools on a Lacey oak. If not a member, you can join by clicking the button below.

Here are some other useful resources from

To discuss this newsletter or any other topic, tune in each Sunday 8am - 11am central time to the Dirt Doctor Radio Show. The call-in phone number is 1-866-444-3478. Listen on the internet or click here to find a station in your area.

Please share this newsletter with everyone in your address book and all your friends on Facebook and Twitter to help me spread the word on the proper way to select, plant and maintain plants.

Naturally yours,

Howard Garrett
The Dirt Doctor

  The Espoma Company  
Espoma - extremely high quality organic products including liquid plant foods with the innovative easy dose cap. Espoma also has a full line of outdoor granular organic lawn and plant foods, potting soils and soil amendments that fit the Dirt Doctor program perfectly.

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