Q: After listening to your presentation on trees I realize my crape myrtles, which were planted a few years ago, were planted too deeply. Should I dig them up? They are 15-20 feet tall. In fact, most of what I planted last year is too deep in the ground.
A: At this point it might be best to remove some of the soil from around the root ball area and gradually grade the area around the tree rather than dig up the crape myrtle. If the trees were not receiving enough sun or air circulation I would suggest you dig them up and move them. However, since the only cause of their poor condition is plant depth, I would remove some of the soil. It would probably work best to remove the soil by hand because shovels or hoes could easily damage the root area and potentially introduce disease. Look for the top main root and keep the soil a just above that main root. If suckers have started to form from that main root, break or cut them off. Add 2-3 inches of mulch outside the root ball area. The mulch does not compact as readily as soil and therefore will allow air to reach the roots.