Tree Notes is about trees -- especially native trees, trees for wildlife, and trees in history.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Still trying to kill their trees...

The bulldozing continues


A few months ago, I wrote about the trees at a construction site. I said that the few trees left standing on the lot had suffered a lot of abuse, and I expressed doubt that they would survive over the long term.

Last week, the bulldozer was brought back to level the ground some more. Look how the dirt is piled around the trunk of the tree in the photo. Any feeder roots that survived the original assault have surely been ripped off and shoved away now. In addition, the soil has again been compacted by heavy equipment.

Today, when I passed, a landscaping firm was heaping red mulch-nuggets around the trees. It hardly matters at this point, but that's one more stupid move if they want the trees to live. Trees don't do well with mulch piled high around their trunks. It invites insects, disease, rot, and rodents. (See "Proper Mulching Techniques" for trees.)

Mark my words -- the trees at this homesite are facing a premature death. I see that as a sad thing because the trees here were healthy before the construction began. It will take several decades to replace some of them. The homeowners have succeeded in making their wooded, rural lot look just like any large homesite in a suburban subdivision.

Related posts:
Will these trees survive construction?
How to compute a tree's critical root area

1 comments -- please add yours:

new york city garden said...

People have no clue, but the landscaping company should have been on top of that -telling the owners what's what. Hate the red wood mulch.

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Enrich your life with the study of trees.

"The power to recognize trees at a glance without examining their leaves or flowers or fruit as they are seen, for example, from the car-window during a railroad journey, can only be acquired by studying them as they grow under all possible conditions over wide areas of territory. Such an attainment may not have much practical value, but once acquired it gives to the possessor a good deal of pleasure which is denied to less fortunate travelers."

Charles Sprague Sargent (1841-1927)

Print references I frequently consult

Benvie, Sam. Encyclopedia of North American Trees. Buffalo, NY: Firefly, 2000.

Brockman, C. Frank. Trees of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. Ed. Herbert S. Zim. New York: Golden, 1986.

Cliburn, Jerry, and Ginny Clomps. A Key to Missouri Trees in Winter: An Identification Guide. Conservation Commission of the State of Missouri, 1980.

Collingwood, G. H., Warren David Brush, and Devereux Butcher. Knowing Your Trees. Washington: American Forestry Association, 1978.

Dirr, Michael. Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs: an Illustrated Encyclopedia. Portland, Or.: Timber, 1997.

Elias, Thomas S. The Complete Trees of North America; Field Guide and Natural History. New York: Book Division, Times Mirror Magazines, 1980.

Grimm, William Carey. The Book of Trees;. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole, 1962.

Hightshoe, Gary L. Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America: a Planting Design Manual for Environmental Designers. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1988.

Little, Elbert L. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees. New York: Chanticleer, 1996.

Martin, Alexander C., Herbert S. Zim, and Arnold L. Nelson. American Wildlife and Plants. New York: McGraw Hill, 1951.

Mitchell, Alan F., and David More. The Trees of North America. New York, NY: Facts On File Publications, 1987.

Randall, Charles E. Enjoying Our Trees. Washington: American Forestry Association, 1969.

Settergren, Carl D., and R. E. McDermott. Trees of Missouri. Columbia: University Extension, 1995.

Sternberg, Guy, and James W. Wilson. Native Trees for North American Landscapes: from the Atlantic to the Rockies. Portland: Timber, 2004.

Wharton, Mary E., and Roger W. Barbour. Trees and Shrubs of Kentucky. Lexington: University of Kentucky, 1973.

Wyman, Donald. Trees for American Gardens. New York: Macmillan, 1965.

Photos and text copyright © 2006-2010 by Genevieve L. Netz. All rights reserved. Do not republish without written permission. My e-mail address is gnetz51@gmail.com