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Saving a tree in severe destress!


Now that my container tree experiment has concluded, I have a very healthy organically grown tree and a severely injured “Scotts potting soil” grown tree.
I was amazed at how quickly the “Scotts” tree went downhill after it was dry-rooted into the new “Scotts water control potting soil”. I got off work a little early today and had some time to care for my sick tree. :-)

Here’s what I did to save the little guy!
I prepared the pots and mixed the dry-rooting medium in the white bucket. The rooting medium is a mixture of 1oz per gallon of Garret Juice per gallon of rain water.

The next step was to carry the little tree out to the compost pile and pull it out of its’ toxic soil mix and shake most of the container’s soil from its’ root system. All of that “Scotts” stuff will eventually break down in the compost pile and become useful some day. {chuckle}
Pictured below is the raw root ball before it went into root stimulating bucket. It had a couple of roots that had started to circle, but looked pretty good over all.

Now it’s in the root stimulator mix where it will soak and intake the nutrients that it has missed in the old pot. I gave it about an hour in this great hydroponic neutral PH mix to attempt to counteract the effects of the embedded “salt based” fertilizers in the Scotts soil mix that it was planted in.

Next step was to prepare its’ new container with a few native rocks at the bottom for drainage:
Q: Why not just put broken pottery in the bottom?
A: Native rocks carry native soil microbes and fungi that will help the tree adapt to the native soil once it is finally put into the ground. :-)

Here comes the big step! Mixing the organic potting soil mixture ingredients" in a different container:
Pretty self-explanatory. 80% Erath earth potting soil, 2 handfuls of expanded shale, 2 handfuls of Texas Green Sand, 2 handfuls of Lava Sand :

That mixture is then hand mixed as best as possible. Oh boy, oh boy, I get to “play in the dirt”! {chuckle}

While the little tree was soaking in the root stimulator, I pruned off some of the dead growth so the little guy would not waste energy in those dead branches:

After an hour, the little tree was ready for his new home with a thoroughly washed root system:

Because the root system had very little soil left on it, I gently hand worked the new soil into and around the root system to ensure that no roots had any “dry pockets” in the soil.

The next step was to vigorously shake the container to work out any “soil voids” in the newly planted tree:

It then got a topping of some great “Rabbit Hill Farms” organic products:

This new potting soil has everything that I use PLUS some! It’ll be interesting to see how the little tree responds. The “worm castings” have worked wonders on some of my other container plants, so I mixed in a little of that also.

Here’s the little guy back in his place on the patio, next to his organic “twin”.
Hopefully he’ll catch up after this major overhaul..

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Previous post: Tree experiment update!

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Another interesting blog, keep us posted on the progress N2.

8 Sep, 2009


Very well photographed and documented... I found this interesting and would like to see the two trees side by side as the weeks go by to compare progress.. Thanks.:o)

8 Sep, 2009


was getting really worried about this little guy
how fab was this experiment
you have done really well and has been so interesting to follow

keep us posted with its progress

x x x

8 Sep, 2009


Lava sand - wow what a lovely colour - I wish we had something like that here

8 Sep, 2009


After checking the little tree this evening, it is starting to show a deep green color in some of the veins of struggling leaves. After it was dry rooted, the leave's veins could hardly be spotted. Now they are a deep green color! It's working! The organic nutrients are working their way up the trunk and into the foliage after only ONE day! Awesome!
I was a little worried about the tree before I re-potted it because it lost about half of its' foliage canopy during the experiment.
This should have a very happy outcome now that the little guy is living in the ultimate soil environment. :-)

9 Sep, 2009


Genuisscuffy, the "lava-sand" can be found at feed stores and other outlets because its' most common use is an overlay for baseball fields! It is a "paramagnetic volcanic rock top-dressing" that stimulates grass growth. All of the "red looking soil" that you see in most baseball fields is this stuff, if they have prepared the field correctly. {grin}

10 Sep, 2009

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