PLANTING TREES: In this file photo city of Picayune summer workers plant one of 20 live oaks along Goodyear Boulevard. Recently a company came to provide the young trees with fertilization and soil aeration that will help them become established in their new homes. By Jeremy Pittari
PLANTING TREES: In this file photo city of Picayune summer workers plant one of 20 live oaks along Goodyear Boulevard. Recently a company came to provide the young trees with fertilization and soil aeration that will help them become established in their new homes.
By Jeremy Pittari

Archived Story

Live oaks get fertilization

Published 7:00am Friday, August 8, 2014

Ten of the 20 live oaks planted along Picayune’s Goodyear Boulevard received a nutrition boost that should help them become long-term aspects of the scenery.

That service was provided to the city free of charge by Fulghams Inc., Public Works Director Eric Morris said.

“Fulghams Inc. is dedicated to preserving and restoring trees all over the southeast. We look forward to working with the city of Picayune to ensure that many generations to come will enjoy the beauty of these trees,” said a representative of the company in a written statement.

Fulghams Inc. Gulf Coast Regional Manager Ben Kahlmus said the company is predicting they will donate about $1,960 worth of services over the next two years. 

The first year of treatment, which began earlier this month with the treatment of 10 of the 20 recently planted live oaks, entailed providing about six shots of fertilizer per tree. Kahlmus said the company will return in six months to provide those trees with another round of treatment. During the second year the company will treat the other ten trees.

Kahlmus said the reason for splitting treatments between half of the trees is so the company can gauge the effectiveness of the treatment.

Morris said the treatments involve inserting a special tool into the ground near the tree, which blasts air into the soil, thereby loosening it up. This process allows the root system to expand beyond the hole where the tree was planted, Kahlmus said.

After the soil has been broken up, the company injects fertilizer around the root system, which provides the nutrients the tree will need to establish itself in its new home, Kahlmus said. 

Fulghams has provided this service to Picayune’s trees in the past, when the city noticed several mature live oaks were in need of restorative help. 

“Those trees are showing signs of recovery and new growth,” Morris said.

Planting these trees is part of the city’s plan to establish live oaks as a majestic canopy over Goodyear Boulevard, though it will be years before the trees are grown up enough.

“I’m not going to see the product, and you’re not going to see the product of it, but future generations will,” Morris said.

Even though the city was able to plant 20 live oaks along the boulevard, Morris said grant funds are being sought to plant at least 20 more. He has the spots picked out along the west end of the road should funding be secured. 

Right now that side of the boulevard, which is closest to Beech Street, has a number of white and water oaks, but Morris said those species are not as hardy as live oaks. When and if those trees die off, Morris plans to plant live oaks in their place.

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