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I put in my entire yard in Fruit Heights in late July. I noticed my maple trees are losing leaves, and showing signs of distress. I put sod up to the tree trunks, but I'm wondering if I should cut the sod back, and put mulch in so the tree roots can breath. Good idea? I cut back on the watering as well, which could have been a problem for drainage. Any help?

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Usually with new plantings when I see plants loosing leaves it is due to water practices.  Either too much or not enough water disrupts the energy flow in plants.  More often than not it is too much water.  Dig down around the plants and check the soil.  You should only water when the top 4-6” becomes dry.  Depending on the soil texture that could range from every other day to every 4-5 days.  And yes, remove the sod a couple of feet from the tree trunk.  Mechanical damage from lawn mowers and weed eaters is the number one killer of young trees.

Posted on 5 Sep 2008

Jaydee Gunnell
Master Gardner and Horticulture Agent, Davis County

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