What do you guys think of this?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by lamblawnscaping, Dec 19, 2001.

  1. lamblawnscaping

    lamblawnscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 165

    This is an idea i have come up with to maximize the effectiveness of water and fertilizer on newly installed trees. The pipe is perforated around the bottom and the cap sticks up out of mulch ring. Have any of you tried anything like this before. This is our first time and we did it on 5 trees. We buried the pipe at varying depths (the shallowest is pictured), and the deepest is about 8 inches deeper. Any reasons this could be a bad thing? Any input is appreciated. Thanks, Chris Lamb

    <a href="http://www.slcinc.com/deallus/images/103-0312_IMG.jpg">The Picture</a>

    103-0312_img.jpg
     
  2. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,578

    Sorry ... I don't like it ... not really sure but for one it looks like a huge amount of time and money ... that looks like a shrub? Not a tree.? Can you imagine doing a site with 2 or more hundred.. No thanks. I suppose this could also allow air to the roots... constrict it ..or..the roots will wreck it.
     
  3. lamblawnscaping

    lamblawnscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 165

    kris,
    I was wondering about air getting to the roots. Could this possibly kill the plant.
    It's not really that costly (about 5-6 dollars in materials), and dosen't take long to do. I was thinking that if you introduced the water and fertilizer below the roots you would encourage deeper roots therefore a taller tree quicker, and if you made it wider than the root ball you would encourage spreading out of the roots. Am I thinking along the right lines.

    Thanks,
    Chris Lamb
     
  4. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,361

    Wouldn't the ring encourage root girdling? That looks like a Leyland Cypress which will become a large tree. I think good soil prep and occasional deep root fertilization will work fine.
     
  5. lamblawnscaping

    lamblawnscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 165

    thanks for the replys kris and lanelle,

    lanelle,
    what is root girdling, the ring acting like a girdle restricting the growth of the tree?
    also what would you consider good soil prep, we use about 25 percent leaf-gro, 25 percent planting mix and 50 percent excavated dirt.
    one last question how do you perform deep root fertilization?

    thanks for your advice,
    chris lamb
     
  6. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,361

    Root girdling occurs when the roots are allowed to grow in a circle around the root ball. Over time these roots get thicker and they will eventually restrict or strangle the growth of other roots or the trunk itself. It takes a rather long time for this to happen and cause the decline of the tree.
    Deep root fertilization is often done by arborists.

    Your soil mix sounds ok since we have so much clay.
     
  7. Green_Thumb_Wolf

    Green_Thumb_Wolf LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 8

    I will give you credit for a unique idea however I think you are wasting your time and setting yourself up for future problems. Part of the idea behind proper preperation of the soil and planting area is to allow for drainage of water and minerals through the soil to reach the roots and allow root access to airation. As long as you are using the proper soil mixture which it looks like you are, and planting the trees properly they should be fine with, as lanelle suggested, occasional deep root fertilization (once the tree has gained a little growth). And you won't have to worry about your invention interfering with the growth and spreading of the roots. Remember if the roots can't spread out as well as grow down, the tree is prone to wind damage. Just my opinion. Hope it was worth something. :)
     
  8. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,578

    Lanelle,
    Thanks for the ID of the tree.

    Yes air around roots will kill it... Im not saying this method will cause that...just thinking out loud.
    Deep root watering and feeding can be done with a deep root watering tool... it is very inexpensive and can be hooked up to a regular garden hose. We also have a larger version for a water truck.
    You mentioned 5 or 6 bucks in material ... That would add up for us. The time would also be a killer.
    I have also seen a set-up where the pipes went straight down the sides of the root ball and were then filled will gravel.
    Even if these methods cause no ill effects on the tree..IMHO it seems extra cost is not worth it.
     
  9. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,205

    i would think it would suffocate root growth. it looks like a neat idea though. ill be interested to hear how the shrubs turned out.
     
  10. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    Hard to swim upstream sometimes........


    I think it might be a great idea, but would need some mods. I'm thinking about municipal tree work and water/sewer work, where trees found their ways into those lines, sometimes 12-14" pipes, and cracked or separated them. They seemed to thrive on the access to water, and to the air that's in those pipes.

    and I'm remembering a design in a class I took about how to help trees survive that have been buried too deeply, and it involves a system not unlike this.

    But I think that when making a planting like this, having the pipe so close to the rootball might cause some problems with future growth...maybe the ring could be made bigger, and buried below rootball level, with 2 daylight pipes. The down side to that is, now you've added to your materials prices, added labor time to dig a bigger hole. The customer may not be willing to pay extra for that. I would test it some more.

    But I'm also wondering.......long term, the plants, planted correctly, should do fine on their own. And if this is just a short-term thing, why not throw some fert and super-absorbant (Soil Moist, Terrasorb)into the hole? It would perform a similar function, cheaper and faster, and not create a new issues for plant survival.
     

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