- Author: Ben Faber
There's a lot of new trees going into the ground, both citrus and avocado. Especially avocados are getting tucked into lots of little corners. There's money to be made and maybe there will be in the future. One of the many issues of planting trees is you want to make sure that ground has been surveyed/evaluated/tested for various problems like salts and pH before planting. It's always easier to correct these issues before trees go in the ground. Once there, it can be a wild experience trying to figure out the problem, and by the time a plan of action has been worked out, trees are dead or stressed and it can be difficult to correct. Read a bit more about this HERE
However, the reason for this blog is really to point out that attention needs to be paid when planting trees. They cant be planted too deep. Burying the stem below the level at which they come from the nursery, can lead to serious problems like tree death. The most physiologically active portion of the root system is the crown, the point at which the roots start spreading out from the stem. Bury that area lower than it had been growing in the nursery, and it causes asphyxiation.
Planting can be a manic process of getting trees out and then moving across the landscape to get them into the ground and watered and adjusted to their new environment. It needs to be methodical and if the hole is too big and too much loose soil, or a planting mix is incorporated that eventually decomposes and allows the tree to sink below grade over time, the stem will get buried. Planting on mounds and berms can add to the problem when the planting site gradually settles over time and buries the stem. So many ways it can happen. The rule of thumb is if planting right doesn't work, it's better to plant high and allow time to settle the tree.
Following is a sequence arriving at a buried stem. Slow down, you move too fast, you want the planting to last.
It's tough planting on rocky hillsides
Something is not going well up there, one or two are dying
Tree is not doing well, and whitewash isn't helping much at this point
Where are the roots, just coarse ones? Notice the dirty paper trunk guard that has been buried
No small roots, this stem was buried too deep. Dieback in the root, means dieback in the canopy