Last year I wrote a post about one of our “fixing trees” jobs. It was a Monkey puzzle, I like monkey puzzles because of their pure horribleness to anybody wanting to climb them and the name sounds cool. He’d reached 70 and was struggling a bit. Rock hard soil, grass, a driveway, pretty much everything you’d find on an urban tree and most of the things that are bad for them.
All of that was making life hard for him, so there was die back and dead wood in the canopy and he wasn’t very green. The gardener had got in contact and asked us to have a look, so off I went, poked probes in the ground and tried to pull a soil sample with the auger.
Well I’ve had easier sites to test
The pentrometer went off the scale at about 25mm and I gave up trying to use the dutch auger in the end as I couldn’t get it to bite. Compaction was problem number 1 and there was a probably a few others we couldn’t see.
A plan was formed, holes were poked in the turf, and bigger holes were drilled to remove the old compacted and poor soil. In each big hole went fresh soil, bio-char based tree fertiliser and heap of worms before watering with simple sugars and other organic stuff.
Then we waited.
I drove by a few times in the spring and he was still there, I walked by at least twice on a recent Parish council tree survey and he looked better. Then I finally got to go back and yep, he’s doing a lot better. Canopy is much deeper green, I could have tested the leaves but I ain’t climbing a monkey puzzle to put tags on, and the grounds nowhere near as hard. We had to pull a little dead yew out of the new hedge and the hole had worms in it and worms are a good sign in soil.
So it Worked!!
And if it worked on this job it will work on others. So if your Tree surgeon turns round and says ” its dying we need to cut it down ” why not get a second opinion. Not every tree problem can be solved with a chainsaw and chipper, some times they need a bit of bracing, or a bit of feeding or just some soil de-compacting to help them breath. Fixing trees not mutilating them like some Victorian era surgeon.