Ewing Irrigation had an interesting article in its last newsletter titled “What is a Sustainable Landscape?” Sustainability’s the hot word right now – and sometimes, I wonder how exactly it applies.
One comment, in particular, hit home for those of us in the tree business. Ronald Dodson, Chairman of International Sustainability Council, and Founder and President of Audubon International, writes, ” There is one instance in which you should not add organic matter into the soil: If you are planting a new tree, you should not add compost into the hole, as that has been determined to discourage root growth beyond the original planting hole. it is better to top-dress the tree planting using compost as a kind of mulch rather than a soil amendment. Additionally, never till in the compost; that essentially defeats the purpose of improving the soil structure. Organisms in the soil will digest the organic matter and disperse it throughout the soil naturally.”