May I throw rocks at my husband to save our tree?

A:

Well, I am not sure I want to get in the middle of a domestic argument but I did check with the Associate Dean of Academic Programs in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. Sounds impressive but Anita Grunder knows her rocks and suggests these white rocks could be:

  • big chunks of quartz where the rock will be very hard (not scratched with a knife)
  • limestone or marble (easily scratched with a knife)
  • some kind of granite (will be speckled in texture with mostly white minerals but also some dark fleck)

Bottom line is that none of these things will decay into something that will be harmful to the tree.

Now if the rocks were dropped in place such that they hit the tree and wounded the trunk then it could cause some problems. You might see areas of sunken or dead bark on the trunk. They may take some time to heal and/or let in secondary organisms that could cause a wood rot.

In any case, the rocks should be set at a distance from the trunk to allow good air flow and not keep that area wet for extended periods of time. Good luck and I hope your tree looks better this year.

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