Nothing can ever be just sunshine and lollipops, can it? Being a grown-up brings all kinds of frustrations you can’t imagine as a child…..like how to cure a sick tree
I received a call back from the Oklahoma State University this morning about my poor blighted Maple tree. OSC has a wonderful Arborial Department with an amazing laboratory that tests for diseases and infestations then gives advice on how to treat the trees.
I had dropped off leaf samples, one with an insect I couldn’t identify and a soil sample for them to test just yesterday and didn’t expect any word for at least a week.
I got my answers this morning.
It turns out the tree has a fungal infection called Maple Wilt. Its cause is quite simple. It comes from a fungus that grows under a ROCK BORDER.
The prior owners of the house had placed several dozen rocks around the base so they could grow flowers around the tree.
It was those rocks that started the entire process. They hold water under them longer than the surrounding and un-rocked areas..a fungus grows under the rocks in the damp soil. It then spreads through the root system and up into the tree, killing off the leaves and eventually the entire tree.
We have a chance to turn it all around and heal the tree…but it is only a slight chance. We (of course) are taking that chance.
We need to cut out the affected branches first. remove all rocks and flowers surrounding the base of the tree, apply root food (I had never heard of tree root food, but there is such a thing!) and water the tree every single day and pray it is enough to affect a cure.
George removed all the rocks last night so we could aerate the soil, so that is done. I removed all the Iris plants this morning. I haven’t found “tree food” yet but the search is on…AND we gave the tree a good watering this morning.
So, if you all will take just a bit of advice…if you have trees you wish to keep never places rocks or bricks around them and never plant flowers around their base. You will either lose your trees or have to go through an incredible amount of trouble (not to mention expense…I just found the “tree food” online and it is pricier than gold bullion!) that is completely unnecessary. Just let your trees be trees.