So I’ve got a very tall and narrow evergreen tree that seems to be exhibiting water stress (dead needles at the growing ends) and is starting to lean somewhat. I’m in Colorado and every spring brings more trees that didn’t survive our periodically dry winters. It gets runoff from my downspout and I do occasionally do a deep soak with the hose when conditions are particularly dry. I haven’t dug a swale because I am unsure where exactly its roots are and I definitely don’t want to disturb them.
My question is concerning what plants would you suggest that I plant as a guild to help it grow deeper roots to increase its access to water and to better anchor itself? I’m thinking at least some comfrey, but I want to be sure it won’t exacerbate the situation by competing for water.
I was actually thinking of sheet mulching on top of some of the guild plants after they’ve had a chance to grow a deap tap root. I was thinking that would kill the plant and its root, leaving a nice path of organic material for the trees root to grow along. That’s a thing, right?
Thanks in advance for any advice!
posted 5 months ago
Also I forgot to mention that there is a second evergreen growing fairly close to it that itself is growing big enough that I’m worried it might be crowding the original tree I mentioned. Not sure if this is causing additional problems. I didn’t plant either of these; they were here when I moved in.
I’d hate to cut down either of them, but also I’m not looking to deal with the damage caused by a falling tree. If I can’t improve the situation within a year or so I’m gonna resort to removing it which would make me really sad.
I would concentrate on soil improvement and let the trees sort themselves out. By adding compost and fungi slurries into the soil surrounding the trees you will add greatly to their survival.
Evergreens do benefit from mycorrhizal fungi and all plants make use of bacteria and other members of the microbiome of your soil, so improving that one thing allows you to improve everything else.