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Do you have trees in your yard?        Protect the soil!
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/08/21/18299074.php

Ask a nursery for care tips or google your tree.
Find out how to care for it.  Redwoods like Iron, Acid, Mineral Soil, Nitrogen and Water!
Iron: carot compost, iron scrap metal, rusty nails, bolts etc.  But not toxic galvanized nails.
Acid: coffee grounds    or    Some fancy water filters make acid water and alkali water.
Drink the alkali water and pour the acid water on your Redwoods, Doug Firs,
Rhodedendrons, Hydrangeas, etc. google acid loving plants.
Mineral Soil: sand, chalky sand bags, crushed rock, etc. sprinkle all around.
Nitrogen: compost, manure, poo, etc.
Water: there is no such thing as too much water for a Redwood, so long as the soil can breathe.
On top of the compost you lay around the tree, apply a thick cover of mulch, or wood chips.
Wood chips can be dumped in your driveway for free anytime you see one of those chipper shredder trucks.
(Saves them a trip to the dump!) Just be sure they did not remove the tree because of bugs. Ask them!
Look at the wood they cut.  Be sure there are no pinholes in the bark from boring beetles, termites, etc.
Wood chips can be piled as high as you like. But NOT near the tree trunk of some trees. Beware fungus, etc.
If you pile woodchips high enough, catching all the winter rain, you do not have to water in the summer.
Sound like a good idea? this is how forests do it, 
and forests don't use pipes, artificial irrigation, or pay a water bill.
Forests are smart!
Wood chips keep the sun from drying the soil.
Wood chips catch and hold rainwater, slowly releasing it to the roots.
Wood chips eventually break down / decompose, becoming soil!
Wood chips are fun!

Oak trees do NOT like acid. Do not water the base of an oak. Do not cover the base of an Oak.
Native Americans would apply volcanic ash to Oak trunks and soil.
You too can apply minerals / whitewash your trees! All trees like minerals.
http://suddenoaklife.org explains how!  Dr Lee Klinger of Santa Cruz whitewashes trees with
http://azomite.com Azomite (60 minerals) to which he adds Calcium, Bentonite, and Lime.
Mineals absorbed by bark and root strenghthen the tree, boosting tree immunity.
Opportunists such as phytophthora ramorum (Sudden Oak Death fungus), bugs, etc. rely on weak trees.

Do not park or drive cars under the drip line of a tree.
The drip line of a tree is the shadow the tree casts if the sun is directly overhead.
The drip line of a tree is the cirlce in which water drops would fall from the tips of the longest branches.
The drip line of a tree maps closely to the root line of a tree.
Protect this soil: do not allow trucks or heavy equipment to compact this precious earth.
Do not pave, build, trench or cut into the soil beneath a tree. (It might fall over if you kill roots.)
For updates and info, contact scott at planttrees dot org.