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More important -at least from the tree's perspective- than keeping things tidy would be to remove the dirt that was placed around the base of this tree. Packing dirt around the stem above the root system doesn't do the tree any good but instead causes rot and, ultimately, the demise of this lovely plant.
Is that a drywall screw holding the cardboard on?
Doesn't matter. 'tree's as good as dead anyway. dirt piled all the way up it's trunk is beginning to saw-cut a ring around this poor tree's "body". It will eventually die. Probably after becoming diseased. Or (more likely) the "tree torture box" will eventually decompose and break up. and then we'll have a giant square pile of above-ground tree roots. And then the tree will blow over in the next Sandy.
@Anonymouses: What do you expect when you plant a tree in your living room?
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