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I have an elm tree in my yard (a HUUUUUGE elm tree)

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LaydeeBug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 03:37 PM
Original message
I have an elm tree in my yard (a HUUUUUGE elm tree)
Edited on Mon Aug-08-11 03:38 PM by LaydeeBug
and my special needs nephew tried to chop it down. When we had it pruned, we had it inspected and it is alive and well, (Cameron put a few marks in her, but she will be fine) but I want to plant moss? around the perimeter of her roots, or maybe mulch? What is the nicest thing I can do for my wounded tree? Also, I have ornamental grasses that have REALLY taken off, if anyone is in the MD/DC area. :)

I am so awful at gardening I can kill a cactus. (but I LOOOOVE a beautiful garden)
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trud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
1. be careful about planting in the root zone of any tree
they do not like that.
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LaydeeBug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-09-11 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. so maybe just some mulch?
I might put a bird house up too. :)
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trud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-10-11 03:36 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. mices
My understanding is if you pile mulch up around a trunk, it harbors rodents who may gnaw on the bark. I guess some mulch away from the bark would be okay.

I'm not a tree maven, but I mostly make sure mine aren't water stressed or over watered. If one seems to not be doing well, I call a oood arborist, who sometimes recommends fertilizing. Luckily so far mine have escaped big pest problems or damage such as yours. Trees have done well for millennia without people messing with them, and I think they are happier that way.
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Curmudgeoness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-10-11 07:48 PM
Response to Original message
4. The nicest thing you can do is probably nothing different
than what you did before the damage. The tree was doing fine against all odds, and I would leave it alone. At this time, when it is under stress, you do not want to cause any more stress by planting anything around it, since trees have many capillary roots near the surface. And mulch is not supposed to be a good idea at any time, although I have seen it around many trees for year after year without problems. Mulch can attract animals, insects, and fungi that like dead wood, and if the healthy tree would have any areas that are dead or close to dead, it will just invade that area too.

And really, congrats on a huge elm!!!!
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LaydeeBug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-10-11 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Thanks! She is huge.
I am not too worried about rodents. I have an attack cat. But it might be like baiting them. Maybe just a good, long 30 min soak. :)

It's been humid, but pretty dry here.
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Curmudgeoness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-10-11 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. It isn't just rodents.
Mulch can carry a large number of fungi, and some of them can weaken the tree. And some can destroy it. Also, that fuzzy attack cat will probably be uninterested in dealing with fungi.

Then there is a ton of insects that can be attracted to what is really just a wood pile. Beetles, ants, termites---all can damage trees and mulch will just make it more attractive.

A good soak when it has been really dry can't hurt. Just don't go overboard. Really, that tree probably has roots that go so deep that it is fine, but surface water might be welcome. Don't try too hard. And good luck.
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