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Raising soil level


 
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Clondoolusk
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:28 pm    Post subject: Raising soil level Reply with quote

Hi,

I have an area on my site that is low and I had originally planned to plant it and leave it as meadow grass but I have lots of top soil left from digging out driveway etc and now want to build it up, the problem is I have around 15 trees ( birch, beech, whitebeam, lime) planted in this area - they are about 6 years old now. Is there any way of raising soil level around this trees without carnage?!!
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Ado 2
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why would there be carnage ?
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raising the soil above a certain level can kill a tree.
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It stops the small hairy roots from getting oxygen.
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

if the trees are only six years old depends on the size they were when planted but they could be lifted and replanted no problem, problem with the soil is it could be contaminated with oil and because it was compacted would probably be of poor quality with litle nutrients but it would be good for wildflower meadow??
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Clondoolusk
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greengage wrote:
if the trees are only six years old depends on the size they were when planted but they could be lifted and replanted no problem, problem with the soil is it could be contaminated with oil and because it was compacted would probably be of poor quality with litle nutrients but it would be good for wildflower meadow??


Thanks for that. Yes I was hoping with the new top soil added that I would then turn it into a wild flower meadow with a few grass paths cut out. The age of the trees are mixed some were quite mature when I bought them and have grown well since so I am reluctant to disturb them again..... This is why I'm threading carefully with adding the soil. Would you think an extra say 12" - 18" of soil would be to much?
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. Unless you make a dip around each tree for 2 or 3 metres.
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd advise you wait for a comment from Tippben, if one comes. A tree is, after all, a plant and some plants can, repeat can, benefit from the sort of earthing up you're talking about. For example, I've heard that, where club root is a problem with brassicas, building soil up will prompt new root growth above the infection and rejuvenate the plant. Maybe not all trees react in the same way so wait for an expert?
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I'm not an expert but it is well known that piling too much extra soil around an established tree causes stress to a tree. Leaf mould or other mulch can be a different matter as they contain lots of air holes and still allow oxygen to the roots. I saw where Clare County Council buried two beautiful trees with almost 2 feet of soil when building a dual carriageway a good few years ago. The trees got worse and worse and eventually died

Two links on the matter below.. The first one says that grade changes should be made only outside the drip line of the tree, which is the same as what I said in my post above.

https://www.bartlett.com/resources/Preventing-Damage-to-Trees-from-Grade-Changes.pdf

http://treelogic.com.au/facts/changes-in-soil-level/

If the area is going to be a wild flower meadow, you can always make banks of soil outside the canopy of the trees and add interest to the area. Why keep it flat? You can always make the mown paths wending in the flat areas from tree to tree. (Just thinking aloud.) And you'd possibly have different types of wild flowers up on the well drained raised banks to those below.

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Greengage
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its your garden so you can do what you want but I would not build up the soil level around the trees or they will eventually die so just lift them when all the leaves fall off and replant at the new level.
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Clondoolusk
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the advice, it needs a bit of though. I like the idea of creating a bit of contour and shape rather than just flat and this would work well with the area I'm working with and probably look more natural. I will probably up root and replant the trees - I would kick myself if I just took the shortcut and the trees died. Thanks again.
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