In the built environment where most of us live, soil compaction is a necessity. In order to preserve the integrity of the infrastructure (roads, walkways, etc.) and buildings in our communities, soil must be compacted to levels that often render it fallow for root growth.
Even in areas that do not require compacted soil, pedestrian and vehicular traffic can compact soil to levels that will restrict or inhibit root growth.
Sometimes spaces that are designated green can become compacted from irrigation. A spray-head irrigation system places thousands of gallons of water on the surface of soil every day. Over time, if that water does not penetrate to deeper horizons of the soil, it compacts the soil and compounds the issue.
Compacted soil lacks the conditions necessary for root growth and will not allow trees to establish deep roots. Because of this, we find trees in the built environment that are poorly anchored, malnourished, and terribly susceptible to drought stress. So we see trees that are easily blown over, prone to pest infestation and disease, and needing constant irrigation to stay alive.
The good news is that soil structure and quality can be improved. Ask your arborist to analyze the soil under your trees. If you find that the soil is compacted, then there are several courses of action that you may pursue. Soil fracturing, aeration, and vertical mulching are all methods of improving the structure of the soil and making it more hospitable for tree roots. What they all have in common is that they provide for channels in the soil through which air and water can pass. When this happens, then tree roots can inhabit the soil.
Good tree root health will bring about better looking, more sturdy trees on your property. With the help of a certified arborist you can significantly improve the your trees’ root health.
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More About Soil Remediation
Good Tree Root Health: Oxygen. In the tips of the roots where absorption takes place, oxygen is critical to root life.
Good Tree Root Health and Microbes. The forest floor provides an ideal environment for their propagation, and they are constantly cycling through the soil food web. In contrast, urban and suburban soil can be seriously lacking in these microbes.
Root Aeration Tubes There are numerous options for root aeration tubes. A popular design involves PVC plastic pipes.
Rootwell Products The Rootwell Products, direct-to-root system has been engineered to permanently enhance a tree's natural ability to absorb oxygen, water, and nutrients.
Soil Compaction In the built environment where most of us live, soil compaction is a necessity.
Soil Composition When we consider the make-up of soil we are looking at the percentages of three different components, sand, clay, and silt.
Soil Food Web What horticulturists and soil scientists refer to as the soil food web is an intricate network of life forms.
Soil Structure Soil structure essentially refers to the amount of macropores in the soil.
Tree Root Health: Watering Trees. What we see in lawns that are irrigated conventionally is tree roots growing at or near the surface in the only space that they can live.
Trees Suffering From Drought? Take a walk in an established forest in this area, and you will see that the problem is not really the drought.
Water Is Not Enough This tree is watered daily by an automatic irrigation system. Despite the abundance of water, it is stressed and losing leaves in July.
Why is That Tree Not Growing? Why is it that the trees in some landscapes never seem to grow past the half-way point of their mature size?