Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘root-washing’

Carl Cathcart, Consulting Arborist and mentor to any number of Massachusetts arborists, sent me an email a couple of months ago. In it, he told about a pin oak (Quercus palustris) that had been sitting, balled and burlapped, in Cavicchio’s Greenhouses, Inc. for a couple of years. Carl, out at the nursery at the time, heard that Cavicchio’s was planning to send the tree to the dump, and he persuaded Paul Cavicchio to save it, root-wash it, and plant it out.

Jim Flott, of Community Forestry Consultants in Spokane, Washington, had given a workshop on root-washing at the 2007 New England ISA meeting. He distributed this document on root-washing, and — oh, okay, I’ll say it — made a big splash with the arborists, including Carl.

The pin oak presented a good opportunity to see how root-washing might work on an otherwise doomed tree. Jake Cavicchio, Paul’s son, washed the roots with a firehose using 90 pounds of pressure; according to Carl, “The soil was all clay and hard as a rock.” Obviously, the firehose method applied more pressure than what Jim Flott recommends, but in this instance (the tree’s roots were entirely clay-bound, and its options were firehose or trash pile), the firehose was the best solution. Here are Carl’s photos from that operation:

Root ball is held with a fork lift while Jake aims the fire hose at its clay root ball.

Root ball is held with a fork lift while Jake aims the fire hose at its clay root ball.


DSCN7743
Aiming from all angles loosens the soil so it can wash away

Aiming from all angles loosens the soil so it can wash away


Washing a root ball this large requires plenty of space

Washing a root ball this large requires plenty of space


Dense mass of roots revealed

Dense mass of roots revealed


Preserving these roots should help the tree's chances of survival

Preserving these roots should help save the tree


Taking the pin oak to its new home

Moving the pin oak to its new home


Roots have been spread out as best as possible; now the hole is being backfilled and flooded.  Plunging the stake into the wet fill helps remove air pockets.

Roots have been spread out as best as possible; now the hole is being backfilled and flooded. Plunging the stake into the wet fill helps remove air pockets.


Paul Cavicchio holding a guy stake for the machine to push into the ground

Paul Cavicchio holding a guy stake for the machine to push into the ground

Carl had taken those photos of last fall’s washing operation, but until this week hadn’t been back to see how the tree was doing. This past Wednesday, when I was at the nursery in hopes of tagging a tree for a project, Carl arranged for us to meet Jake at the tree. We were hopeful…

Photos and Inspiration: Carl Cathcart, MCA
Owner: Cavicchio Greenhouses, Inc., Sudbury, MA
Planting Crew: Jake Cavicchio, Paul Cavicchio, employees of Cavicchio Greenhouses, Inc.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »