one tree thriving, other not - Knowledgebase Question

Syracuse, Ut
Question by tinitam5
June 11, 2010
We have a flower bed in our front yard that we planted two of the same trees in 2 years ago. I think they were called flowering pears or something like that {not fruit bearing}. The trees are about 4 feet apart. The tree on the east is thriving, but the tree on the west is still living but not doing much. What can I do to help the tree?

Answer from NGA
June 11, 2010


Although the growing conditions seem identical, there may be some soil issues with your ornamental pear tree. If the soil is compacted the roots may be having a hard time penetrating the soil. Sometimes a layer of clay will prevent root growth and may even hold too much water at the root level. You might want to dig the tree, check the soil for problems and then replant. If you find clay or some other problem that might stunt root growth you can dig through it to help water drain faster and to break it up so the tree roots can penetrate. I know it sounds like a lot of work but if you don't - well, your tree may simply sit and sulk for years to come instead of perking up and keeping pace with the healthier tree. Best wishes with your trees.

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