How to fix overwatering?

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How to fix overwatering?

Postby Scarlet » Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:35 am

Hi

I've been lurking on this site for a while and have found so much great advice and I'm hoping someone can now help me.

We re-landscaped our front yard in October/November last year including planting 2 x 2 metre crimson sentry maples as feature trees and having drip irrigation installed.

Our problem is the leaves on one of our maples have started to curl and dry up and we suspect the issue is overwatering. We also have 2 gold velvet kangaroo paws which have fallen over near the maple which we also suspect is due to overwatering. The irrigation system is all on one zone however one side of the garden tends to flood (the side with the sad maple) and the other side doesn't. We have heavy clay soil which we tried to improve with gypsum and loads of organic matter before we started planting. The soil at the bottom of the sad maple is quite damp.

We are wondering what we can do to save our tree? We have cut back on the irrigation to let the soil dry out (shouldn't take long in 41 degree weather in Adelaide today!) but I'm wondering if there is anything else we can do to give our tree a better chance of survival!

Looking forward to participating more in the forum as we now embark on landscaping our backyard!
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Re: How to fix overwatering?

Postby littlegarden » Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:48 am

Hi and welcome to the forum!

If you just planted them in November they shouldn't have put out much in the way of new root growth. My suggestion would be to carefully dig out any maples you're worried about, then raise the level of their garden bed using a more free-draining soil. I don't know what your beds are like, but you can either do this by constructing a bit of edging and filling in the whole thing, or making good-sized mounds where the maples are.

I had to do the same for a Japanese maple that I didn't realize was going into a waterlogged corner. I used a mix of composted cow manure and sand, not sure if that's the best option but make sure you don't use potting soil, which usually comes with stuff to make it retain water!

In any case digging up the maples will also give you a chance to have a look at the roots and dampness of the soil. When you re-plant them you might want to give them a light trim to make up for any root loss.
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Re: How to fix overwatering?

Postby Mister Wisteria » Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:30 am

Welcome to the Forum, good advice from LG. :D
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Re: How to fix overwatering?

Postby Scarlet » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:34 pm

Thanks for the advice littlegarden. We will dig down a little later on this evening when its not quite so hot out and see what's happening down at the roots. The tree has deteriorated further over the day (possibly contributed to by the heat also). I'm surprised at how quickly its deteriorating we only really noticed it yesterday. Someone also suggested giving it a feed of Seasol to promote new root growth if there is root rot down there so I might try that too.
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Re: How to fix overwatering?

Postby littlegarden » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:41 pm

Scarlet wrote:Thanks for the advice littlegarden. We will dig down a little later on this evening when its not quite so hot out and see what's happening down at the roots. The tree has deteriorated further over the day (possibly contributed to by the heat also). I'm surprised at how quickly its deteriorating we only really noticed it yesterday. Someone also suggested giving it a feed of Seasol to promote new root growth if there is root rot down there so I might try that too.

Seasol is good stuff but if waterlogging is the problem, I'd be worried about adding more water, even if it's got Seasol in it...

I faced the same dilemma when I raised the bed under my maple. I decided to spray the seasol on the leaves, not sure if it did anything!
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Re: How to fix overwatering?

Postby Scarlet » Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:37 am

Thanks for our great advice littlegarden. We dug around the tree last night and it is sitting in a pool of water!! :shock: We had no idea our clay held so much water the tree only gets watered twice a week. We won't be adding any more water at all until it dries out a lot. We need to pick up some free draining soil and then we will dig the tree out make the hole much much bigger than it already is and fill it with the free draining soil before replanting. Unfortunately its in the middle of a flat garden bed so we can't edge it or mound it up too high but will do what we can. Then we'll just have to cross our fingers and hope it pulls through or it will be back to the tree nursery for us.
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Re: How to fix overwatering?

Postby littlegarden » Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:19 pm

Scarlet wrote:Thanks for our great advice littlegarden. We dug around the tree last night and it is sitting in a pool of water!! :shock: We had no idea our clay held so much water the tree only gets watered twice a week. We won't be adding any more water at all until it dries out a lot. We need to pick up some free draining soil and then we will dig the tree out make the hole much much bigger than it already is and fill it with the free draining soil before replanting. Unfortunately its in the middle of a flat garden bed so we can't edge it or mound it up too high but will do what we can. Then we'll just have to cross our fingers and hope it pulls through or it will be back to the tree nursery for us.


If it was sitting in water, you will definitely need to raise a mound. Even if you dig a bigger hole, if it's on clay it'll still be like putting it in a bucket of water ... just a bigger bucket. Raising a mound will give it extra height before the roots get to the wet bit.

I hope they pull through, trees aren't cheap!
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Re: How to fix overwatering?

Postby ElmiraStore » Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:22 am

Thanks a lot for your advice LittleGarden! This helped me lots. And I have controlled overwatering too with your suggestions.
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