May 29, 2010

Replacement Tree

The Littleleaf linden that was murdered by a buck was finally put to rest.  Two men with machines came and took it away, then ground up the stump, dustily and noisily.

The replacement tree is a Nyssa sylvatica, or Black Gum, which I've written about before, as I have planted several small ones in back of our house.

I was impressed with the whole enterprise.  These two men took all afternoon to plant this tree, carefully hand digging the planting hole to expand it, unwrapping the burlap, siting the tree, leveling it.  Then they took a good hour to water it in, clean up (even sweeping the street where some dirt had spilled), and add rich soft mulch.

And please note: the mulch is nowhere near the trunk.  It's not piled high in a volcano mound.  The curved flare of the stem is visible, not buried a foot below the ground with mulch packed up around it.

It is so distressing to see how most large trees are planted, inside high volcano mounds, anchored too deep in the earth.  The tree smothers, nutrients can't move easily from the roots up the conduits in the lower trunk, and it just looks stupid.   There is much written about this most misguided of landscaping practices, but it persists like no other.... why?

I know most landscapers are not arborists, they're machine guys who like to move big things around in their bucket loaders.  But the problem of dying trees in too-deep holes is so evident, and the right way to plant a tree is so widely known and easy to do..... why then do they insist on burying trunks and piling stuff up around them?
Photo from Fine Gardening as an example of WHAT NOT TO DO

I'm just glad I have a lovely new front yard tree, well planted.  I will make sure it will be well tended.


  1. Your new Linden looks like it was tucked in quite well. I hope it grows big and strong so it can survive any creature big or small attacking it.

  2. It's true, there's no faster way to kill a tree than burying it below grade. I hope your new tree thrives.

  3. Ah, your tree is off to a great start! Enjoy watching it thrive. :)

  4. Thanks, everyone, for your encouragement with my new tree!


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