Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Nice tree, shame about the aftercare!

This is a healthy, young Lemon-scented Gum (Corymbia citriodora) in Barnsley Rd, Mt Claremont.

Hooray! Wide verge, no powerlines. Great choice.

But the tree's doing well despite the aftercare, not because of it.

Here's what I mean

No one is re-tying the tree and as a result it has rubbed against the stake and created this nasty wound - a place for rot to set in and potentially cause the demise of the tree.

This is also a good reason why you should always angle your stakes outwards. It keeps the top of the stakes well away from the trunk and makes them much less likely to be pulled inwards under the strain of the tie - especially as the tree grows and provides more sail to the wind.

But there's something else going on here.

The lawnmower man is piling his clippings around the tree...

Tip: click photo for a closer look

You can see where I've cleared them away from the trunk which is darkened because it's damp - another classic "rot" scenario.

The piled up clippings are also preventing water getting to the tree's roots.

For two reasons

Firstly, the convex shape of the mound. Water is going to run away from the tree, not towards it. And secondly, because lawn clippings tend to "cake" and repel water anyway.

Moral of the story: Planting is easy. It's the aftercare that sorts the men from the boys (or the living trees from the dead ones even).

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