REMEMBER...

LIFE IS A GARDEN; ENJOY THE STROLL.

April 28, 2015

A COMMON GARDEN NO-NO

©Linda Nelson 2015
Can you detect what is wrong in this photo?  And, yes, I realize the quality and composition of these images are poor.  You'll just have to pardon me on that.

If you said that there is too much soil mounded around the tree trunk.........Hooray!  You win the washer/dryer combination!

©Linda Nelson 2015
There is about four inches, to be exact.  Plus three inches of mulch.  And we know what three plus four equals, don't we?  How would you like your neck buried in seven inches of soil and mulch?  This torturous act was performed courtesy of the homeowner's "landscaper".

©Linda Nelson 2015
The two bucketfuls are just of mulch.  I'll put some of it back on after I remove all the excess soil.

Now, did the "professional" just arbitrarily dump this stuff around the tree?  No; he was edging the lawn and was too lazy to have the wheelbarrow at his side, into which all the excess soil should have gone.  Instead, he shook the dirt from the sod clumps into the tree bed, then top-dressed the bed with mulch.  This is so typical an occurrence, and so very lethal to a tree.  It is also very unhealthy for perennials and shrubs.

So, where should the soil level be around a tree, you ask?  Go look in the mirror.  Yes, go look in the mirror.  Look at the bottom of your neck, where it leads to meet with your shoulders.  Notice that the bottom of your neck flanges out slightly?  Now, go outside and inspect the bottom of a tree. Where the bottom of the tree trunk starts to flange out is about where the soil level (or mulch) should be.  Are there exceptions to this rule?  Sure, but for the most part, you can't go wrong with this protocol.

You are now informed.  Don't let your "landscaper" get away with this.  If you the homeowner own this bad habit, break it.  For, the tree you save may be your own.

8 comments:

  1. Oh my... What a mess. Lucky for the homeowner and the tree that you came by. That size of a tree takes years to grow and is expensive to replace. But most of all it is a waste of a fine plant to choke it to death. I hope the "landscaper" got a lesson...

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    1. It really baffles and frustrates me to observe these sorts of practices.

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  2. vedo che i "giardinieri esperti" (e ben pagati sic!) non mancano nemmeno da voi! quanti alberi rovinati anche dalle potature sbagliate... ci vorrebbe così poco!
    lori

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    1. Yes, in years past this dogwood tree was "trimmed" by the landscapers; my client could not understand why she never saw it bloom. I had to explain to her what was being incorrectly done and have this information forwarded to the landscaper to not do that again.

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  3. Looks pretty natural to me...I've seen trees that way in the "real" world plenty of times.

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    1. No, John, it's not natural at all. What is natural on a forest floor is the accumulation and decomposition of leaf matter that the trees drop, but not purposeful dumping of soil around a tree. There is a difference, and it can take quite a few years before a tree will show obvious signs of decline as a result of this practice. It is the responsibility of the gardner/landscaper to ensure the best care for the plant material a client invested in.

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  4. I don't care what you and your sister say...I'm not listening...Nah nah nana nahh nana nahhhh. :P

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    1. Well, whad'ya you know.......it's my pesky little brother-in-law leaving me bratty comments. Thanks, John, for visiting my blog. And, do be sure to inspect the two maple trees on your yard.

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