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Root Bound Tree Struggles

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Root Bound Tree Struggles

In October I was asked to visit a property in Jacksonville to determine the cause of the declining live oak that had been planted by a nursery in March, seven months earlier. The tree was experiencing drought stress indicated by a extremely dry rootball and dieback in the crown in spite of a summer of abundant rainfall and regular irrigation.

I performed a root crown excavation with a hand hoe and soon discovered the tree had been planted too deep while ...

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How to fix the roots of pot-bound trees

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How to fix the roots of pot-bound trees

I recently had two separate requests to plant  Norfolk Island pine trees (Auracaria heterophylla) that had been left in their containers way too long. In both cases the trees had been used as Christmas trees and were then placed outdoors in their decorative pots. Although the pot-bound circling roots in these photos are extreme, the treatment would be the same for trees that are not quite as pot-bound as the tree in the following images. Unfortunately, most trees found in ...

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Tunneling Under Tree Roots

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Tunneling Under Tree Roots

Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida is making improvement to 9 holes this summer and some of the improvements include better drainage. But sometimes getting the drain pipes laid out from the golf course past homes to the street presents problems for trees that are near the planned trench.  When one homeowner adjacent to the drainage project saw that her trees were going to have their roots cut by the planned drainage trench, she contacted me and we ...

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Strangling a Live Oak

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Strangling a Live Oak

We had an unusual experience on a root crown excavation the other day on a 41-inch DBH live oak located near a couple houses built 17 years ago on a wooded pennisula that sticks out into the Intracoastal Waterway at the south end of the Guana-Tolomato Wildlife Preserve north of St. Augustine. The construction impacts were minor on all the trees in the area and there have been no signs of construction-related problems on the trees with the exception of ...

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Mulch for palms

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Generally any mulch consisting of organic material is good. Often organic mulch from palm parts is stringy and not as esthetically pleasing as pine straw, pine bark or wood chips. My favorite mulch is that produced by tree service chippers especially that of pine trees and broad leaf trees. It includes twigs, leaves, branches, bark and wood all homogenized in a nice mix. There is another problem with palm mulch — ganoderma zonatum, the dreaded butt rot disease. It is ...

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