planting a tree - Knowledgebase Question

Aurora, Il
Question by mbtelephoneq
October 1, 2010
I planted a tree in a area where it was hard clay at the bottom of the hole. After planting I watered and went back to it the next day to make sure the soil was compacted. The water came shooting up around the tree. The area was well rota tilled and compost was added but doesn't seem to be enough. Any suggestions on how to get the area to drain. This is a very large area


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Answer from NGA
October 1, 2010

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I wish there were an easy fix, but short of drilling out cores of soil and filling the deep holes with gravel, I'm afraid you're stick with digging the tree and planting it on a mound or island of top soil. If there's any way you can force metal rods down into the soil, the holes they make will be a place where water can collect and with any luck it will be enough to draw water away from the roots so they won't develop rot. Some trees don't mind growing in clay soils but you didn't identify the tree so I don't know if it is capable of living happily with clay. I hope you can find a way to punch deep holes into the soil around the tree so the water can drain. Good luck with your tree!

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