M.R.J. Smith wrote:Thank you for your thoughtful response. I do have a few questions- they will be in chronological order.
How exactly does one address a slope properly when building? Did you mean they should or should not put the foundation down to bedrock?
Could you explain that last paragraph in a different way? I'm just not grasping what you're getting at. Do you cut the stumps up or just toss them in the hole?
Jami McBride wrote:[
#2 For planting trees - I had several aged stumps, some still standing some on the ground, all around 2-ish feet long and 8-10 inches wide. My goal was to use as much large, seasoned wood as I could reasonably manage. I had to dig heavy clay soil, so I needed this to be a reasonable process.
- Dig the hole as you normally would for that tree root/ball size.
- Now dig down another 2 or so feet more. I also enlarge the width of the hole just to give me extra log placement choices.
- Next, put your 2'-ish seasoned logs into the hole standing up, on end. Fill the hole with logs like this. Do your best to fill the width of the hole with vertical logs. Seems like I usually get about 4 - 5 logs 8-10" diameter. But don't worry, this is very flexible.
- Cover your logs with soil on all sides and fill with water to help move the soil down filling up any air pockets, this step is important and you will repeat it after you plant your tree for the same reason - no air pockets. Keep adding soil and repeat until it is even with the log tops.
Now look at where your at with the tops of logs and the normal top of your surrounding soil, sit your tree in and see how much more soil you need to add so you are back to the right depth for typical tree planting. It doesn't matter to much if you plant on the log tops or a few inches of soil over the log tops, you just want the newly expanding roots to make contact with the logs in a month or so of growth. They will run over and down the sides of the logs and take water up through them like a straw. I've played with laying the logs on their sides or standing them vertical and found the later to really case the trees to take off when planted in the spring. If you plant in fall it may not make as big a difference how the logs are placed as they won't be facing a dry summer as soon. My next experiment will be with other types of plantings, but this works great for trees for me, and the logs fit better standing on end.
Michael Cox wrote:
How does this work out long term? One of the key pieces of advice when planting trees seems to be to avoid adding organic matter into the planting hole itself. Organic matter shrinks as it decays and the soil and roots will need to shift and settle. Air pockets will potentialy open up as the soil is washed through into teh void left by rotting wood. This process might take a good few years so the initial planting may appear successful but later on cause problems for the mature tree.
When I have had to plant on a (shallow!) slope I've made a small berm/mini-swale to help channel water to the tree and encourage infiltration. A wall just a few inches high made of wood chips seems to work for me.
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