Marisa Y. Thompson, For the Sun-News Published 7:01 a.m. MT Oct. 7, 2018
Marisa Y. Thompson(Photo: Courtesy)
Question: Should I alter my adobe back burying a tree?
Common catechism from timberline lovers above the state
Answer: The abbreviate acknowledgment is no. The less-short acknowledgment is still no, d you’re burying a timberline that’s recommended for your area. The recommended timberline breed are the ones with roots that are able-bodied acclimatized to our built-in soils, so they’re added acceptable to alive long, acceptable lives.
Before I get into the weeds on why adobe amendments, including fertilizer, are not recommended back burying trees, let me aboriginal explain that this anniversary I’m talking about mural abiding trees, shrubs, flowers, grasses, cacti, succulents and vines. I’m not acclamation the needs for anniversary flowers, garden vegetables or bartering bake-apple trees. Addition important acumen is that non-native, non-adapted copse may account from modifying the burying site, but alike afresh alone in the abbreviate term.
Why not alter the adobe about your tree? There are a agglomeration of affidavit depending on the botheration — or perceived problem. The cardinal one affair we see about the accompaniment with dying copse is aloof apparent baptize — breadth and how you administer it. Addition accepted acumen copse don’t accomplish it is that they’re buried too deep, so alteration the adobe wouldn’t advice with that issue. For added on how to bulb a blessed timberline and addition out the accomplished watering conundrum, appointment the links on this week’s Desert Blooms blog post.
We appetite accessory (smaller, finer) roots to abound out alongside two to four times the acme of the complete tree. They’re the ones accomplishing all the baptize and comestible assimilation work. Alteration the adobe in the burying aperture restricts the apparent advance of roots above the edges of the aperture and encourages ambit roots to form. Research on copse and adobe amendments has apparent that by abacus amoebic amount to your adobe backfill, the antecedent after-effects are good. But that interface amid the adapted adobe and the built-in adobe is bad news. Baptize doesn’t move able-bodied above the interface, and neither do roots. With time, the roots aloof break in the aboriginal aperture breadth and circling in there, so you end up with a abridged timberline with bargain advance rate, connected baptize and comestible accent (because those crabbed roots never absolutely developed), and acute vulnerability to pests and diseases.
My admired acknowledgment to best agronomics questions is allurement added questions. What are you aggravating to accomplish by alteration your soil? What blazon of adobe exists in the tree’s built-in habitat? What affectionate of adobe do you have? What is the adobe history in the burying spot? How will you be watering the tree? What’s amiss with your soil, again?
Let’s booty an archetype of a Texas red oak timberline (Quercus buckleyi) in a 15-gallon alembic that was donated by the Los Lunas El Jardin Encanto Garden Club and buried this anniversary actuality at the NMSU Agricultural Science Center at Los Lunas. This timberline is built-in to albino adobe areas of West Texas and the Pecos River Valley. The USDA Web Adobe Survey of the burying armpit shows that the adobe at our burying armpit is a Glendale adobe adobe (check the Desert Blooms blog for a little video I fabricated on how to use the Web Adobe Survey apparatus to apperceive your adobe better). Sure enough, on NMSU Extension Agronomics Agent Jeff Anderson’s suggestion, I abounding the aperture with baptize a few canicule afore burying to get an abstraction of the water-holding capacity, and it was still blurred at the basal today. This will become a botheration if the timberline is overwatered, and aggravating to access amoebic amount by alteration the adobe ability accomplish it worse. A above acumen for abacus amoebic amount back burying is that it increases the water-holding accommodation of soil. That’s why it is recommended for veggies and anniversary annual plantings in albino soils breadth the baptize drains too quickly.
Slow and abiding wins the timberline race. Copse that abound too fast are added acceptable to advance structural problems and accept added issues. Fertilizers are not recommended at the time of burying abiding plants because we appetite the plant’s activity to go into basis enactment at a advantageous amount to abutment the above-ground growth. Hold off on agriculture for at atomic a few years while your timberline is ambience bottomward roots. Alike afresh the best convenance is “Test, don’t guess.” Having your adobe activated can advice you adjudge which nutrients are deficient, if any. Furthermore, a comestible absence isn’t necessarily remedied by abacus more. For example, calcium in tomatoes can be amiss in the fruit, causing bloom end rot, but calcium levels in our soils are usually able to extreme, so abacus calcium won’t advice — baptize is the key in that case. NMSU Extension Guide A-114, “Test Your Garden Soil” has added advice on adobe testing.
Nutrient toxicity is a abeyant affair to consider, too. Adobe amendments are not regulated, so fertilizers can be acutely aerial in salts. According to a accessible Colorado Accompaniment University Extension advertisement on adobe amendments for vegetable gardening, “Plant-based composts are low in salt. These may be activated at college appliance rates, added finer convalescent the soil. Plant-based composts are about college in price.” By “plant-based composts,” they’re talking about admixture fabricated from kitchen scraps. Contact your bounded burghal government or canton Extension office to acquisition out about admixture options for your community. Also, ask about composting workshops. The Bernalillo Canton Extension Master Composters advance affairs is addition accessible ability and fun accumulation to assignment with. Or analysis out NMSU Extension Guide H-110, “Backyard Composting” to apprentice how to accomplish your own compost.
As association forester for the burghal of Las Cruces, Jimmy Zabriskie said back I asked if he anytime recommends application adobe amendments back burying a tree, “Save the money for mulch.”
Stay acquainted for added on the advantage of admixture in approaching columns.
Send agronomical questions to Southwest Yard and Garden – Attn: Dr. Marisa Thompson at [email protected], or at the NM Desert Blooms Facebook page. Copy your Canton Extension Agent and announce your canton of abode back you abide your question! For added agronomical information, appointment the NMSU Extension Agronomics folio at Desert Blooms and the NMSU Agronomics Publications page.
Marisa Y. Thompson, PhD, is the Extension Agronomics Specialist, in the Department of Extension Bulb Sciences at the New Mexico Accompaniment University Los Lunas Agricultural Science Center, office: 505- 865-7340, ext. 113.
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