[nafex] Leaves in hole before fruit tree

Ginda Fisher list at ginda.us
Mon Nov 23 08:19:00 EST 2020

I’m curious what others think of what I’ve been doing recently. I have reasonably nice soil, but it’s full of rock of all different sizes, some large. So digging holes is very hard work. And I understand that it’s important not to bend the roots of a young plant back on itself. So I’ve been digging a small hole for the “core" of the plant, and spreading out the roots on the top of the soil, and then digging a small trench for each root, often with a trowel. For instance, I planted some apple rootstock that was basically a stick with half a dozen long thread-like roots. So I dug a star, and spread out each root thread in a different direction. 

It’s a lot less digging. If I hit a large rock, I can guide the root around it. I’ve planted tree peonies, apples, and hazelnuts this way.

Nothing that I’ve planted that way has seemed to die of it, yet. (Plants that died mostly did so because a deer ate the whole plant. A tree peonies developed some fungal disease.)  But I feel a little guilty when I do this. 

Wishing you all a safe Thanksgiving,
Ginda Fisher
eastern MA, zone 6

> On Nov 23, 2020, at 7:32 AM, Elizabeth Hilborn <ehilborn at mebtel.net> wrote:
> I echo Lee's advice. I never amend holes now, I plant in soil as it lays and top dress.
> My first experience growing fruit trees I amended all (very big) holes. They lasted about 12 years, got quite large, but when they started dying, a post mortem revealed roots did not penetrate beyond the original hole diameter.
> On 11/23/2020 6:13 AM, Lee Reich wrote:
>>  And any material that dramatically changes the soil porosity creates a “pot in the ground” effect wherein roots stay inn the amended soil

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