My name is Alex and I have been in the garden since I was 4 years old with first my grandfather and then my mother. My daughter has followed in my footsteps and is currently taking a horticulture degree. I have been learning about permaculture
for many years. Compost
excites me. LOL
I have a standing red oak in the middle of grass, our only grassy area on that side of the yard
. It is full grown and twin trunked with a stabilizing bar about 60 feet up that precludes our tenancy here. It is majestic, I call her Bess, and you can see some of her bark in my profile pictures. She is about 100 feet tall with first branches at about 80, and it was a little stressed from grass right at the base and some construction mounding. I noticed some difficulty with leafing out and some die back of small branches a few years ago.
I took down to the root
spread a few years ago and mulched at about 3 inches away with a 2 foot wide swath of oak leaves and sticks for a couple of years. The soil under that is beautiful black and tons of plant life.
So, wondering first, has anyone had experience
with creating guilds with a full grown specimen tree? How does it react to root competition? There is a small red bud to the east of it--about 10 feet away that has significantly struggled, but after 14 years is only about 7 feet tall. I hesitate to dig into the root structure of such an established tree, especially after it was stress.
That said, my mother just gave me two common comfrey plants, and I was wondering if this might work to help the tree, or should
I just plant some ground cover over the mulch
and call it a day? I want to really support the tree because it is extremely beautiful and I have about 20 oaks of similar size that make living here a joy.
Any help would be appreciated. I do know the Quercus guild from Gaia's Garden
, but frankly, most guilds I have researched talk about starting from scratch, and this is a pretty big tree to start with. I did search the forum and found information for comfrey with other fruit trees
, but nothing related to this.
Thanks again for any help and looking forward to digging in deeply (pun intended) with all you permies!