clay soil and a tree



Our garden has a very heavy clay soil. It holds almost no water and gets very hard once it dries out. I have done some research and leaf mould or rotted bark and often suggested as helpful.

We also have a very large tree in the corner of the garden, its about the height of the house. Not sure what it is as we have only just moved in and the leaves are only just starting to appear.

The tree is way too big and blocks out light to our garden and the neighbours.

My questions are: If I arrange for the tree to be chopped down and put through one of those machines that shreds it into small bits. Should I ask the gardener to leave the mountain of tree bits so they can rot for a bit and then be dug into the soil.
Will this help the soil?
How long should I leave the wood chips before digging them into the soil?

If this is a bad idea, please say. Its just a thought.......
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28 Oct 2005
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United Kingdom
Why not just 'pollard ' the tree? Trees are great. They should all have preservation orders on them.

5 Sep 2005
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in theory yes... chip it and use it as top dressing. But in theory it will take minerals etc out of the soil as it rots... but then people put bark chippings on the garden al the time....

As for trees yes many have preservation orders on them, yours might, but if its blocking out the light you can have its crown "lifted" so it don't do that so much or just pruned. Ask a tree surgeon.

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