Old Tires Save Trees And Soil
Paul French puts old tires to good use, saving his trees and saving soil on worksite slopes. It started when he wanted to expand a turnaround at his hilltop home without killing the trees down the slope.
"I talked to an extension specialist at Cornell University, and he said to put cinder block walls around the trees to keep the fill away from the trees," recalls French. "I decided to try big tires instead."
French gathered up more than 200 truck tires. He used a chain saw with carbide tips to cut nearly through them, finishing the bead with an 18-in. Skilsaw with a chop saw blade.
With the tires cut, French was able to stack them around each tree. He then backfilled as much as 10 ft. high around some of the trees.
"The tires prevent the trees from being robbed of oxygen, which is what will kill a backfilled tree," explains French. "I had a couple dozen trees, and after 10 years, I've only lost two trees."
Recently, French put in a new waterline across a rocky slope. He will be putting more old tires to work there to stabilize the slope. He used this practice in the past in other similar situations.
"I will lay a single line of big truck tires on level ground at the base of the slope," explains French. "After filling them nearly full of dirt, I'll repeat with another line of tires, partially overlapping the first and fill them."
French plans to repeat the process all the way up the side of the bare rock slope. When he?s finished, he will plant vegetation in the dirt within each tire.
"In a few years, the tires won't even be visible," says French. ?In the meantime, the slope is protected, and the dirt won't erode."