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Tree help needed (Plastic sheeting and irregular growth in tree line)

Tree help needed (Plastic sheeting and irregular growth in tree line)

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  #1  
Old 07-31-05, 12:17 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 91
Tree help needed (Plastic sheeting and irregular growth in tree line)

First off thank you very much for providing this service online. I really do appreciate it.

I have a row of evergreens spread about 8 feet apart, then another row of deciduous trees 8 feet from this with a spread of 8 feet apart finally there is a row of bushes 8 feet from this one with a bush every 8 feet. So it looks somewhat like this
- - - - - - - - - -evergreens
- - - - - - - - - -deciduous
- - - - - - - - - -bushes
I think you can get a image of what I have.

Problem is I didn't do my research when I decided to control the weeds so I put down a black plastic sheeting to control all the weeds in this area and then I placed down 2" mulch on top. The plastic sheeting is right up too trunk of all plants. I think using this kind of sheeting was a very big mistake. I have read that you need the type of sheeting that allows water and air down into the ground. Also even with this type of sheeting you should allow atleast 6" from the trunk of the plant to allow the plant to breath.

Drat!!! How big of a mistake did I just make. The plants are all of different lengths. The shortest being 6' tall while the tallest is roughly 25' tall. What do you think I should do know. Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 07-31-05, 03:24 PM
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: United States
Posts: 2,535
Pull up the plastic. I moved last year. The previous owners did just what you describe. And guess what. After a few years, weeds still grow over the plastic.

Remove the plastic and just mulch. Any weeds that sprout can easily be removed. Keep the mulch away from the trunks of your trees.
 
  #3  
Old 08-01-05, 07:32 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Plastic will keep necessary moisture and nutrients away from roots and result in eventual decline and death of plants in addition to uneven growth depending upon how much moisture can reach roots through limited space around base of tree. Remove mulch. Then, remove plastic. Replace plastic with landscaping cloth for weed control. The landscaping cloth will allow moisture to reach roots. It is doubtful that smaller plants will catch up with those who have grown taller and larger.

Without taking into consideration the proper spacing of plants for height and width at maturity, you may have also overplanted. Species planted should have been those that can thrive in your soil, light, and moisture conditions. Overplanting can cause plants to compete due to space limitations for light, moisture, and nutrients. Under stressed conditions, plants can decline and fall victim to insects and disease.
 
  #4  
Old 08-02-05, 04:00 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 91
I know what you mean my planting them too close though. I didn't plant them though the previous owner did. The middle row (russian olive trees) of trees doesn't seem to go to well with the evergreens or bushes because the tree loves to grow this way and that. It also loves to grow high and overshadow the evergreens and bushes preventing it from getting a good amount of sunshine. I have some very strange looking evergreen trees because these russian olives have branched into them causing crookedness and other unsimmetrical features in them. This year I have cut down many branches from the russian olives to try and help the evergrees some expecially the smaller plants that can't get enough sun because the russian olive overshadows them a lot. Is there anything better I can do for these evergreens?

It is doubtful that smaller plants will catch up with those who have grown taller and larger.
That sound unfortunate. Why is this? Is it because the taller tree overshadows the younger tree preventing it from recieving a good amount of sunshine. Also the younger tree can't get enough nutriunts and water because of the vast roots of the taller tree? Is there anything I can do to prevent this?
 
  #5  
Old 08-04-05, 10:15 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Russian-olive trees are popular in the Great Plains area because they are fast-growing, drought tolerant, and make an excellent component of windbreaks. Planted 10 feet apart, they make for a great hedge. Height: 12 to 15
Width: 12 to 15 at maturity. Depending on type of evergreens and bushes and spacing after taking into consideration of all at maturity, you may want to thin out the plantings. You may want to eliminate the evergreens. For plants to achieve true form, they need adequate room to grow.
 
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