To continue the story from the previous post (check out the photos on that one):
Wednesday, I had to visit Cavicchio’s Greenhouses to tag a tree. Carl and I arranged to meet there, and Carl called to see if Jake Cavicchio could meet us at the little pin oak. We bumped down a back road to the base of a slope, and recognized the tree immediately. It had some deadwood, but had leafed out nicely and seemed to be growing well.
Jake remarked on the deadwood — he said that it had all been there last year, and that this year no more seemed to have developed.
The day after the root-washing, Cavicchio’s had planted in three other pin oaks, similarly root-bound, in the same area. Those three were planted conventionally, their root balls holding the same red clay that had been washed out of the first tree.
The most noticeable difference between the first, root-washed tree and its companions was that the three conventionally planted trees were showing signs of current stress, while the first tree looked fine. Each of the three other trees had foliage sprouting from its trunk, a symptom of stress and an indication that the tree is trying to counteract decline. On the other hand, each of the trees also had similar top growth to the first tree.
It is probably too early to tell what the future will hold for any of these trees — regardless of planting method, the fact that all the trees are now planted out boosts the possibility that they will survive. It seems entirely likely, though, that the tree whose roots were freed from the dense clay soil ball will now encounter less struggle to reestablish a vigorous root system, and that reduced stress for it will mean a healthier prognosis than for the other trees. Take a look at these photos.
Owner: Cavicchio’s Greenhouses, Inc., Sudbury, MA
Arborist: Carl Cathcart, MCA
Tree mover: Jake Cavicchio
Scale figures: Carl Cathcart, Jake Cavicchio