We bought a 40 year old house that has a pieris tree in the backyard. The flowering tree is about 10 ft. tall. However, the flower bed it is in is about 2 ft' wide, so most of the roots are under the grass. The soil underneath the tree is loaded with beetles and other insects and the tree itself has become weakened with many areas on it that are losing the leaves and flowers. Shall I take the sod off or will I damage the existing root system? In your opinion, what might I do to save this tree?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Have you noticed any insects on the tree itself? Any insect holes on the trunk/branches or signs of insect damage on the foliage? It will become clearer what to do after looking under that sod. A closer examination, and identification, of these insects should be your first priority. There are a host of insects that could be damaging to your tree, such as the black vine weevil which attacks root systems and may be the cause for the weakened state of your tree. If your insect issue is not addressed, the tree will likely continue its decline.
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