Editor’s note: John Huddleston, arborist with Precision Tree Experts on the Hill, is caring for the trees at the new Idypark. He responded to the Town Crier’s question as to why the area is roped off with orange netting. Below are his words.
The Pine Cove Water District has donated three Sequoiadendron giganteum to the park. Those trees are about 25 feet tall.
Three trees currently in the park are infected with a disease called botryosphaeria. The cornerstone of the treatment regiment for that disease relies on careful soil-moisture monitoring.
The first samples we took were all from overly wet areas, by coincidence. We pulled back the mulch and broke apart the compacted soil and mulch around the trees with an air tool.
What we found was that the soil in the park was anything but uniform, and contained a significant amount of man-made contaminants, as well as some undesirable organic substances that were affecting the soil’s pH and its ability to hold water.
Many spots in the ground were completely dry, and we switched from air to water to break apart the compaction in those areas, and began flooding those spots to penetrate those areas that were literally repelling water. We have had some recent success.
At this stage, we are continuing to remove contaminants and fine organic particles that are disrupting the trees’ functions, and trying to locate the majority of the fine roots so they can be properly protected.
Current plans are to restrict foot traffic around the trees for as long as possible, which will likely involve the construction of a small and semi-permanent fence to dissuade people.