Perhaps more important than the composition of soil is the structure of the soil. The soil composition will determine the amount of micropores that are present in the soil. Soil absorbs water into its micropores and holds it. Because of the small size of the micropores, water does not drain from them. Drainage occurs through larger spaces in soil known as macropores. It is the drainage of water through these larger spaces that allows air to be drawn into the soil. Without air (Oxygen) roots cannot live.
So soil structure essentially refers to the amount of macropores in the soil.
Soil structure can be compromised by breaking it down during construction, over tilling, compacting it, or killing off the organisms that provide the structure. Organisms that create structure can be complex organisms such as earthworms that create rather large spaces in soil by tunneling through it. There are also microorganisms that contribute to soil structure by creating a glue known as Glomalin that holds pieces of soil together and preserves the macropores in soil.
All of the organisms that contribute to soil structure require oxygen to live. So if oxygen is not constantly available in the soil there will be no organisms in the soil food web to preserve the structure of the soil.
At Pro Arbor, we have developed a way to improve the structure of the soil under your trees by creating artificial macropores. We will insert small cylindrical devices into the soil that hold open a chamber through which water and oxygen can pass. As the water and oxygen migrate through the soil, it becomes habitable for tree roots. As tree roots grow into the deeper horizons of the soil, the soil food web is supported organically.
Talk to your arborist about remediating your soil with Rootwell aeration devices. Good health in trees starts at the roots.
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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?