Now I could have sworn I’d posted this puzzle before, but after searching through all the previous postings I can’t find it. Here it is.
I planted this Cornus kousa in 1999 (removing the burlap, clay, etc. prior to installing). We removed the turf (still attached to the $(%&$ plastic mesh) and planted the tree in the existing soil. The first photo was taken in 2004, and the second was taken in 2007:
Here are some specifics about what was done to the landscape during this period: we replaced all the turf with wood chips and put in the fence as shown. There was no impact on structural roots from either of these activities, and fine roots were affected minimally when we dug post holes for the fence. The turf was simply allowed to die back in the summer (hot summers do that here in Seattle) and then topdressed with wood chips. There were no chemicals applied, nor was there any soil disturbance.
It was about 2007 that we noticed the leaves were substantially smaller than previous years. The leaves are sparse and small, but they don’t become chlorotic or necrotic during the summer, nor does any part of the tree suffer more than any other. This phenomenon has continued until this year, when we finally dug it up and moved it elsewhere.
So here’s the question: why did this tree start swirling down the mortality spiral? As always, there may be many legitimate answers – but I’ll show you the actual reason on Monday!
Enjoy your weekend!