It all starts with the ROOTS!
Our Plant Health Care approach incorporates all aspects of tree health/environment, including the growing medium: SOIL. Soil health is one the most important aspects to consider. If the soil environment is not up to par, your tree can't grow to its potential. Whether determining a species for planting or addressing poor health/vigor on an established, mature tree, a soil test is an invaluable tool that we may use on your site.
By mulching the root zone, aerating the soil with an air-knife, or fertilizing with soil injections, we address the most common problems with our urban lawns: poor soil conditions. Soil compaction is the most prevalent problem: caused by lawnmowers, people, dogs, vehicles, & even raindrops on bare soil. Soil compaction decreases pore space in the soil. An ideal soil should have ~50% pore space, of which the large pores contain air and the small pores contain water. Roots need oxygen to survive and water to feed the plant, and compaction can reduce pore space enough that oxygen and water availability is limited, which restricts root growth. This in turn leads to poor vigor and decline. Getting pore space back into the soil is the key to fighting compaction problems.
Lawn pluggers may help turf, but do nothing for tree root aeration. Mulching as much of the root zone as possible helps create a more naturally-acting soil system. Ideally, mulching to the drip-line (outer perimeter of the canopy) is the surest way to improve soil conditions and result in a much healthier tree. Verti-mulching is a technique that creates vertical columns of mulch within the soil profile throughout the root zone that increases pore space over time, and is a great option for those that want to aerate for tree health but still keep the grassy turf underneath their tree.
Ways to improve your tree's health
Mulching the root-zone:
Is your tree struggling? If your tree is slowly declining, we need to take a look at the soil and environmental factors. If you have grass all around your tree, without question you will have compaction problems. Think of your mowing habits. Every time you mow, you are compacting the soil; it's inevitable. The compaction is packing the soil down and eliminating pore space in the soil, which the tree roots need to access water and oxygen. Getting that pore space back into the soil is the key to fighting this problem.
Verti-mulching, as mentioned below, is one technique that can help but the best way to boost your tree's health is to mulch the root-zone. Ideally you should mulch out to the drip line. This gets the soil in the root-zone back to natural conditions (think a forest floor). As the microorganisms break down the mulch, they plow up the soil creating pore space AND release nutrients into the soil that the tree can utilize, while eliminating competition from aggressive turf grass.
A well manicured lawn is like Mars to a tree. Your tree may do fine for a while, but eventually it will become stressed enough that pests and diseases will come in to finish off the tree. Want a healthy vigorous tree? Mulch the root-zone. It's as simple as that!
Verti-mulching the root zone:
- improves soil & root environment
- corrects soil compaction, aeration problems
- effective for areas where you want to keep grass
- reduces root stress on older, mature trees
- it all starts at the roots!
Root zone excavation and air-tilling:
- aerates and loosens hard, compacted soils
- our Air-Knife blasts away soil without harming even fine absorbing roots
- we can expose and thus correct trunk flare and root problems
- we can uncover and examine tree root & structure conflicts
- very useful for trees stressed by compaction
Soil injections for root feeding:
- eliminates competition from turf
- puts fertilizer right where the tree needs it
- we use only low salt index fertilizers, meaning no burn
- we match fertilizer use to conditions, time of year and the need
Let us help you maintain and beautify your landscape with healthy, vigorous trees. Contact us today.