Tree damage after landscaping


Old 10-24-04, 10:33 PM
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Tree damage after landscaping

We have a cherry tree in our front yard that has a lot of sentimental value. We had a landscaping company come in last August to till the front yard and plant sod. It didn't occur to me until after the fact that this might damage the tree. I did notice that when the soil was tilled up there were a lot of feeder? roots tilled up as well. Then dozens of baby cherry shoots started sprouting up everywhere under the drip line of the tree. Did they kill my beloved cherry tree? Is there anything I can do to baby it through this? Thanks so much!
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Old 10-24-04, 11:27 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
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HomeschoolMom asked:
Then dozens of baby cherry shoots started sprouting up everywhere under the drip line of the tree. Did they kill my beloved cherry tree?
How does the tree look, & the fruit this Season? The small sprouts that grow outside my landscaping cloth layers/weed barrier & moisture holder are kept in check by mowing. After my Cherries 4th year it started sending out shoots I believe this is normal.

You had the top feeder/sprouter roots opened & developing their own rootlets. If the tree looks healthy the tilling just sped up the shoot process.

Many trees send out sprouts only we don't see them due to mowing the lawn under the tree. Have you been using a tree food spike for feeding? They are installed at the drip line & are to desolve very slowly.

Most important is how the tree did this year & how was the fruit production. Also did they sod up to the trunk? Take your time we just need as much information as you can give us.
Old 10-25-04, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
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Make sure that soil covers whatever roots are still exposed or cut them off at the ground. This will keep sprouts down. Mulch under the tree to keep sprouting down. Keep the tree watered until spring. Monitor how damp the soil is under the tree. Weekly should be sufficient.

This winter when the tree is certainly dormant, January or February, feed the tree a balanced fertilizer. This will go to the root system of the tree and not to the foliage as it would in the spring. Apply the fertilizer out to a distance 50% greater than the spread of the canopy.

Trees are pretty tough charactes and will survive having the feeder roots cut. If yours has made it since last year. (Last August as in 2003?)

It is a shame that the sod folks were no better informed than they were.
Old 10-26-04, 03:01 PM
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Thank you both for the responses. To answer some questions:
I have never fed nor watered this tree. I did give 2 long, deep soakings about 2 weeks after the tilling about 3 weeks apart.
There is an 18 inch strip of mulch around the trunk.
The sod was installed this Aug. 2004.
The tree looks fine, it seemed to start losing leaves a little early this year but that may just be that I am looking more closely, anticipating problems.
I forgot to mention that 2 limbs were also damaged from the tractor. Both injuries appear to be down to the layers of wood under the bark. Both limbs are large important "climbers", meaning they figure prominently in my daughter's games when she is up in the tree. I will feed this winter as suggested and start waterering when our rains stop in the summer. We live in PNW so we have hot dry summers. Does this sound appropriate? Since I have never watered the tree before is it possible to over water and harm it that way? Thanks again for taking the time to help!!
Old 10-26-04, 07:08 PM
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Location: Taylors, SC
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Just check on the watering if the weather is dry. Give it an inch of water per week during dry spells. Keeping it watered will encourage the growth of new feeder roots. Watch the wounds in the tree for any signs of infestation: bugs moving in to feed on the sap or the growth of mildew. It may be necessary to remove the limbs if they are badly damaged. Some damage to bark will heal itself.

Hope this helps.
Old 10-26-04, 08:03 PM
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It helped very much, thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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