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Excessive mulching causes strangulation by stem girdling roots.

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Excessive mulching causes strangulation by stem girdling roots.

During the first three months of 2013 Danny and I had been asked to excavate a number of young live oaks (Quercus virginiana) with mulch volcanoes and to fix the problems we found. We knew from previous excavation on individual trees that we would likely often find some nursery ropes, straps and wire baskets left behind that are beginning to girdle the growing trunk. We also expected to find an occasional stem girdling root. But we weren’t prepared for the ...

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Using Stones and Shells for Mulch

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Q: I am re-landscaping my entire yard, and instead of mulch, rocks or pine needles, I am planning on using shells. Will shells create any type of problem for my trees, shrubs or flowers?
(Question from Naples, Florida)

A: Generally shells are much like a stone mulch. Except shells will slowly leach calcium into the soil as they very gradually degrade. If you already have a high pH (soil measure of acidity or alkalinity), which means your soil is alkaline, then ...

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Unexpected Intruder Creeps into Tovar House

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In late July the plaster at the interior northwest comer of the Spanish colonial Tovar House (also known as “the cannonball house” next to the Oldest House) suddenly popped open. Historic preservation architect Ken Smith immediately called upon structural engineer Jude Kostage of Atlantic Engineering Services to tell us how drastic the problem was.

The news was not so bad. A tree root had squeezed itself between the coquina stone of the house wall and the plaster. Growing to an inch ...

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What kind of mulch

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Q: What kind of mulch would you recommend to use in beds around and close to our home. In the beginning we used cypress mulch and discontinued it a number of years ago because of the rampant destruction of cypress trees. Then we went to pine bark and encountered an ant problem, i.e. they entered the house. Our pest control people told us that eventually  these ants would attract termites. So we removed all of the pine bark and are ...

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Leaf tissue sample results

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Your effort and diligence in explaining in DETAILS the “HOW” and “WHEN” and “WHERE”(distance) of the application is MOST impressive!
…and in addition you took the time to send pictures of each nutrient to be applied—-amazing!
Thank you so very much for the time you spend on one  MY tree only!
I will follow your instructions verbatim as per timely applications—and repeated applications later in the spring.

Nora
Nov., 2011

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