03:54AM | 06/18/03
Member Since: 08/27/01
52 lifetime posts

We planted some arborvitaes last year and they died. The nursery said it was a bad batch and gave us replacement ones. Now these are starting to turn brown. Now they say it's probably a drainage issue since we have clay soil. Since they won't give us anymore replacements, we want to do all we can to save these. We are going to dig them up and replant them in 1 of these 2 ways:

1) Dig down about 8-12" deeper than needed, put 4" of gravel and then cover with topsoil, then plant the arbs and backfill with topsoil. This will keep them fairly level with the ground (root balls will be slightly above ground level as they are now).

2) Build an above ground berm of topsoil and plant the arbs in this. This will avoid the work of digging down as deep as #1 above.

Which option is better? Any other options/suggestions? I live in Buffalo. Thanks!



05:28AM | 06/18/03
Member Since: 08/27/01
52 lifetime posts
Also, how much is a yard of topsoil? For example, how many wheel barrows is 1 yard of topsoil? Thanks.



01:49AM | 06/19/03
Member Since: 01/14/03
264 lifetime posts
Clay soils don't drain well, if at all. When you dig a hole in a clay soil to plant in, you're basically making a bowl which will collect water...which will sit and sit, and rot the roots of anything planted in it. Unless you can find a way to provide for drainage away from the holes you dig, you're probably better off planting in a raised area. The roots will eventually find their way to the clay, but they'll only penetrate to the point that saturation become a problem, then they'll turn elsewhere.

As to the wheelbarrow question, there are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard. Wheelbarrows are usually sold with a cubic foot capacity listed somewhere on the tag. If you know what yours is, you can do the simple arithmetic.

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