Save the Oak Tree at the Garden Center
by Gaye Hammond

During the summer of 2002 a majestic oak at the entrance to the Houston Garden Center began showing stress and was in danger of dying. The Houston Rose Society and the City of Houston Parks & Recreation Department are working together to save the tree and restore it to health.

The first step was to have the tree evaluated by Malcolm Beck of San Antonio. Mr. Beck is the author of several gardening books in Texas and he noted a brick planter around the base of the tree that was filled with earth. He determined that this was a major source of stress for the tree and recommended that the wall and soil be removed.

This was done. When the soil was washed away, it was revealed that the tree was strangling itself on its own roots, which had encircled the tree in the soft soil.

Next, the "above ground" roots were removed by Parks and Recreation workers. The decline in health of the tree has now stopped.

The next step is to deep root feed the tree and add aeration in the root zone.

Stay tuned for further progress.

View of Oak Tree

View of Root Girdling

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