Tree Help

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  #1  
Old 06-27-05, 09:05 AM
mgm156
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Tree Help

Hi - my fiance and I bought a house in a new development last December. One of the reasons we bought was because of the 8 large 40 ft trees behind the house. When the builder graded the land, he buried the crowns of the trees. We thought the grade looked great - however, numerous landscapers giving us quotes for our landscaping have since said that we will probably lose the trees since the crowns have been buried.

We dug them out yesterday and soaked the ground about 20 feet around the tree. They have spent a little more than a month with the crowns buried. Have we definitely lost our trees, or is there hope for them?

Thanks for your help.
 
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  #2  
Old 06-28-05, 09:48 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
Posts: 9,483
Additional soil out to 150% of the canopy needs to be removed, not just around the crown of the trees. Over the long run, the extra soil (more than one inch) will smother the trees. Builders commonly kill trees that someone intended to keep by compacting the soil around the tree with heavy equipment driving over the soil, by adding soil, or removing soil.

Hope this helps.
 
  #3  
Old 06-28-05, 09:49 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Do you see signs of decay? What is overall condition of trees? Do they appear stressed? If trees are showing signs of decline, there is no magical treatment to return them to health. The decline will continue until trees are dead. Adding soil to the root zone causes overfilling and reduces the oxygen essential for root respiration (breathing). You can identify deep fills around large trees by looking for buttress flares at the base of the trunk. If soil has covered the bulge (buttress flare) at the base of a tree, then there has been a deep fill.

You should attempt to restore the original grade. This should be done carefully. Make sure no soil is piled up against tree trunk. If tree is already showing signs of stress and decline, restoring grade will be futile.

If in doubt, consult with an arborist.
 
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