Author Archive

Growbags are Green!

Posted by Jim on Saturday, 12 September, 2009

The use of growbags continue to impress us. They are definitely the new ‘green’ way to grow trees trees. The rootballs are smaller, so easier and lighter to move and transport, smaller equipment is needed to dig, load and ship, more can be moved in the same vehicle, and less soil is lost in the production field, all good for the environment. Some question the small size of the rootball relative to the size of the tree.  This works because you get more roots per square inch of rootball.  The roots end up being more concentrated, because before planting, the bare root tree rootsystem is pruned back to fit into the growbag without touching the sides of the bag.  You get the new roots that start inside the bag, instead of being cut off like some other production methods.  Rootballs are also more solid, less likely to crack and breakup during shipping.  Buyers tell us that once they understand the system they love and prefer them.

Rototillers don’t work

Posted by Jim on Tuesday, 18 August, 2009

If you see the word rototiller in a landscape specification, be suspicious. There is no tiller on the planet that I know of that will adequately  penetrate the compacted urban soils of todays constructions sites.  Compacted soils must be deeply scarified or incorporated for them to do any good.  Even if rototillers could get partway into the soil, they would then leave a slick interface difficult for roots and water to penetrate.  A backhoe with a good operator make short work of compacted sites, fracturing and slightly mixing the soils with top organics and not overmixing, not destroying PEDS in the soil, something else rototillers destroy.   When aggregates are bound together into larger masses they are called PEDS.  Peds are naturally occurring units in soil structure that develop over time, important for plant growth and soil health.  In otherwords, preserve the PEDS while breaking up the compaction!  Use a backhoe!

Secret ingredient for happy trees.

Posted by Jim on Thursday, 16 July, 2009

Water!  We have found a secret ingredient to keep trees happy this year.  It is called water. Certain areas of Puget Sound, including us here in the Skagit Valley are in a severe drought. Calls continue to come in with people asking what is wrong with their trees. More often then not, the plants need water.  Long slow, deep watering is the best, try it and you will be amazed!  Then if you get really ambitious, add 3 to 4 inches of composted mulch under the dripline of the tree, but not against the trunk. With mulch, you can water less frequently.