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How can we save this tree?

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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  plantoid on 6/5/2016, 10:48 am

Can you get a close up of the needles of the tree branch and the tip of the branch please ..it looks a bit like a Larch ..
They are quite susceptible to all manner of grass/weed killer sprayed on the or watered into the ground near them .
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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  bwaynef on 6/5/2016, 11:04 pm

At zone 8 or 9 in Redding CA, I doubt its a larch.
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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  countrynaturals on 6/6/2016, 2:54 pm

Here's a closeup. Each cluster of needles is about the size of a silver dollar.


104 degrees predicted. I think it's gonna be hotter than that. Our a/c has been on since 10am. Thank goodness I have rocks to paint and charity work to do online, cuz it's absolutely brutal outside.  Sad
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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  sanderson on 6/6/2016, 5:29 pm


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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  countrynaturals on 6/6/2016, 8:44 pm

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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 6/6/2016, 10:47 pm

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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  countrynaturals on 6/6/2016, 11:16 pm

BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:The needle clusters look larch-like to me, too.
http://www.mushroomexpert.com/trees/larix_laricina.html
http://nwconifers.com/nwhi/wlarch.htm
Well, that's the closest thing I've seen yet, but the shape of the tree isn't right and mine has never produced any cones. I know I've seen this tree somewhere before, but it seems it was in some exotic garden.  bounce cyclops pale
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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  sanderson on 6/7/2016, 1:29 am

The shape of the tree?? Wink Poor thing hasn't had a chance to reach it's potential. Probably affected its cone production, also.

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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  bwaynef on 6/7/2016, 8:59 am

Don't larch lose their needles in winter after they turn golden brown?  Does this tree?
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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  countrynaturals on 6/7/2016, 10:40 am

bwaynef wrote:Don't larch lose their needles in winter after they turn golden brown?  Does this tree?
Nope. I'm going back out and search for clues. It has been too hot to hang around out there for the past 2 days.
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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  countrynaturals on 3/21/2017, 6:13 pm

We had an arborist come out and look at our pitiful trees. Turns out this one is a deodor cedar. He's going to trim the top off for us and hope for the best. Our biggest problem, according to him, is mulching. We put a little ring of mulch around the base of all our trees. He said the mulch has to go all the way to the tips of the branches. affraid Luckily, we have a huge pile of wood chips that he signed off on, but I've been working at this job for almost a week and I'm only about 60% done (and 100% done-in Rolling Eyes ). Good thing the weather isn't nice enough for "real" gardening, or my poor old self would be face down in the compost heap. sawing logs
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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 3/21/2017, 6:23 pm

Thanks for sharing the answer! I was assuming the tree was native to CA - and the 'true cedars' aren't, so I feel ok not having figured this one out.
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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/21/2017, 6:30 pm

Well I'll be!  Deodar cedar.....ancient tree.
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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  countrynaturals on 3/21/2017, 7:25 pm

BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:Thanks for sharing the answer! I was assuming the tree was native to CA - and the 'true cedars' aren't, so I feel ok not having figured this one out.
That might also explain why it isn't very happy, here. The previous owners planted all sorts of stuff they shouldn't have, but I really want to get this one back on the right track. geek
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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  sanderson on 3/21/2017, 10:50 pm

Deodar cedars do well in our Mediterranean climate. It's good to know that a large apron of wood chips can help.

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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  Kelejan on 3/22/2017, 12:47 am

countrynaturals wrote:We had an arborist come out and look at our pitiful trees. Turns out this one is a deodor cedar. He's going to trim the top off for us and hope for the best. Our biggest problem, according to him, is mulching. We put a little ring of mulch around the base of all our trees. He said the mulch has to go all the way to the tips of the branches. affraid Luckily, we have a huge pile of wood chips that he signed off on, but I've been working at this job for almost a week and I'm only about 60% done (and 100% done-in Rolling Eyes ). Good thing the weather isn't nice enough for "real" gardening, or my poor old self would be face down in the compost heap. sawing logs

Not everyone knew this, CN, even Kew Gardens in England did not figure this out until winter storms blew down hundreds of their precious trees.  They found out that they were mostly shallow rooted because so many of their  trees were surrounded by seating, and the surrounding  grass was heavily trampled.

They changed their method to mulching right out to the tree line as that where a tree gets most of its nourishment and placed seating far away from the trees.

My old and neglected apple tree was due to be cut down when I received my first load of wood chips so I tried mulching right our to the tree line.  The first year the leaves grew thick and dense; the second year had thousands of small apples, and the third year I thinned out as many apples as I could and had a bumper harvest of large blemish free apples. I will hang on to that now and this year it will get pruned.
I also found that preparing large apples is so much better than preparing the same weight of tiny apples and much less waste.
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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  sanderson on 3/22/2017, 2:42 am

There is a lesson here. Forests can grow for 100's, 1000's of years without our help. There are wet cycles and dry cycles, but they mostly just keep on going. What does a forest have? Lots of fallen organic debris (mulch with occasional deer and bear droppings Smile ), with ensuing recycling of nutrients and moisture control.

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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  countrynaturals on 3/22/2017, 12:06 pm

sanderson wrote:There is a lesson here.  Forests can grow for 100's, 1000's of years without our help.  There are wet cycles and dry cycles, but they mostly just keep on going.  What does a forest have?  Lots of fallen organic debris (mulch with occasional deer and bear droppings  Smile ), with ensuing recycling of nutrients and moisture control.    
I never gave it a thought until this year, but it makes perfect sense. With our bone dry summers, our poor trees would get soaked when we watered, then parched between waterings. With a thick layer of mulch, they should stay uniformly moist all the time. I sure hope they all forgive me for the terrible neglect they've suffered. also, we never fertilized. That changes this spring, too. I think I'll take some "before" pics and see if there's any noticeable improvement after I change my erroneous ways. Sad
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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  countrynaturals on 3/22/2017, 12:10 pm

Kelejan wrote:

My old and neglected apple tree was due to be cut down when I received my first load of wood chips so I tried mulching right our to the tree line.  The first year the leaves grew thick and dense; the second year had thousands of small apples, and the third year I thinned out as many apples as I could and had a bumper harvest of large blemish free apples. I will hang on to that now and this year it will get pruned.
I also found that preparing large apples is so much better than preparing the same weight of tiny apples and much less waste.
Ooo, that is so kewl! I hope it works that way for our plum and almond trees. They are really suffering.

Do any of you tree people plant vetch, clover, or other cover crops in the mulch around your trees? I'm thinking it might be good for the pollinators as well as the trees. What say ye all?
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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  Kelejan on 3/22/2017, 12:32 pm

sanderson wrote:There is a lesson here.  Forests can grow for 100's, 1000's of years without our help.  There are wet cycles and dry cycles, but they mostly just keep on going.  What does a forest have?  Lots of fallen organic debris (mulch with occasional deer and bear droppings  Smile ), with ensuing recycling of nutrients and moisture control.    

I am now trying that with the dropping of the tree's own leaves and the droppings of passing bears, deer and turkeys.  Perfect balance.
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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  herblover on 3/22/2017, 1:04 pm

Interesting; the grass has grown right up around our trees, I have always been concerned about slicing through the roots to dig out the grass to mulch.  Or are you just mulching over the existing grass?  I have always fertilized my trees for the first 10 years after they were planted, though.
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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  countrynaturals on 3/22/2017, 1:27 pm

herblover wrote:Interesting; the grass has grown right up around our trees, I have always been concerned about slicing through the roots to dig out the grass to mulch.  Or are you just mulching over the existing grass?  I have always fertilized my trees for the first 10 years after they were planted, though.
Grass? What's that?  rofl I just pile the mulch on top of the ground, but we don't have anything like grass growing out there, just some straggly weeds. If your grass is thick and healthy, I'm thinking it would take a whole lot of mulch to kill it -- like 8" maybe. I am definitely not the one to ask about that problem. Maybe if you weed-whacked it right down to the dirt first, then piled on the mulch???
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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  sanderson on 3/22/2017, 2:13 pm

CN, What about putting some horse manure (for the deer and bear droppings) down first, then leaves (not oak) and top off with the wood chips. That would be a natural fertilizer. Slow release and the worms will do their magic while eating the microorganisms that will grow under the chips.

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Re: How can we save this tree?

Post  countrynaturals on 3/22/2017, 2:30 pm

sanderson wrote:CN,  What about putting some horse manure (for the deer and bear droppings) down first, then leaves (not oak) and top off with the wood chips.  That would be a natural fertilizer.  Slow release and the worms will do their magic while eating the microorganisms that will grow under the chips.
All I have enough of is wood chips. The only leaves we have are oak and I need all the horse manure I can get for my new BTE garden. The trees will have to be satisfied with wood chips and store-bought fertilizer this year. At least the wood chips are well-aged (probably 9 months) so that might help some.
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