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David Humphries

To Mulch, or not to Mulch?

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Veteran oak, feature tree on a common, dbh 154cm, much amenity and bio value, although compaction to much of rooting area caused by car parking. Car parking area is covered in type1 or similar. There is money available to airspade although I think the money could be spent wiser. How would be best to remove the layer of scalps? I'm guessing by hand with spades. I would prefer to scrape surface and lay a decent layer of mulch and spend available money on shifting the carparking spaces along 10 metres. I'm not convinced that airspading won't blast away fibrous rooting and cause accelerated decline. Perhaps it could be something to be tried if positive results aren't demonstrated with decent mulching after 4-5 years?


Apologies about the single paragraph.

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Decompaction of the soil is just as important, if not more than, mulching, as this allows the roots to respire, it allows better uptake of water, trace elements and nutrients, also at this time of year, the roots will be actively growing to store energy for winter, so any minor damages with an airspade will be rectified by the tree as it produces new roots, whilst mycorrhizal fungi will help reclaim the nutrients from the lost root fibre



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David, when you say micorrhizal are you saying youve located nodes? or fruiting bodies? was I mistaken in thinking Pear is endo or maybe ectendro (undetermined )


what cropped up out of interest:001_smile:


What certainly looked like nodes Tony (no images)

Obviously I can't confirm that they were specifically on the pear roots.

There are other tree genus in the immediate locality.


'The' list suggests (as you point out) that Pyrus has endomycorrhizal association. So without further reference, I would lean toward that particular data unless there are other reference stating ectendro ?







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Looking good, well worth the time and effort...


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helping a friend with a compaction study comparing readings from different sites on veteran trees that have been mulched.


Here we're using a Penetrometer to measure compaction inside and outside the mulch bed.










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I've never gotten past the variability in penetrometer readings due to moisture content, so I just go by feel with a steel probe sans gauge. I do measure exactly 170# laying on it, so there's some scientific consistency of a sort. :001_rolleyes:


But re internodal cuts, I blew that pic up to 350% and for the life of me it looks like all the cuts were to buds, growth points with laterals or where previous laterals have shed, aka nodal cuts. So which ones were internodal? Or is this my yank dialect confusing me again? :confused1:



Pretty looking tree regardless.

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