NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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March 22, 2010 Horticulture Column


Spring is approaching at a fast pace but be remember that this does not mean winter is over.  I have pictures of baby calves laying in a foot of snow the last week of May.  Needless to say it did not last long but it did happen.  On the other side of the coin, my grandfather had planted durum on March 10 one year only to have it get snowed on.  The crop did turn out o.k. but still our nice spring weather reminds us that we had better not get too fired up for any gardening activity, just yet.  This past Saturday we held our Gardening Saturday and was quite pleased with the information provided and the participation of the group.  We learned a lot about grapes and also how to get your own seed started and keep your plant alive, to the garden.  There were many other questions asked too as we had a very good cross reference of experienced gardeners’ and horticultural Extension agents. 

One topic that came up was covering tree trunks with dirt.  Over the last 10 years many different areas have been raised (to try to stay dry from the rising waters of Devils Lake) and along with that came the decision to dig out the old trees or replant to new tree species.  Many chose the fill the area up and just keep the old tree in place.  It will not be long before people will be calling about something is a matter with our trees.  Trees grow for a reason and are grown with many different principals in place.  Number one and foremost is the planting of a tree.  You never cover the bark of a tree when planting.  The tree you are planting is typically bought from a nursery and has been potted, already.  This is the proper level to plant the tree.  The tree grows bark to protect the artery structure of a tree.  This area under the bark is the carrier of nutrition to the tree and the bark never removed.  If you have ever noticed a tree with some bark missing and then pay attention to the health of the tree, you soon realize there is a problem.  Well the same holds true for the covered bark of the tree.  The moisture is held tight to the tree causing the bark to start rotting.  Once the bark is removed then we are back to what we just mentioned.  Too make a long story short DO NOT place anything around the trunk of the tree to include MULCH.  Well until next time HAPPY GARDENING. 


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