Soil and Root Management
A lot of action happens below the surface. There is drama and intrigue. A root eating nematode sneaks up on the roots of your tree only to be captured by a noble fungal hypha! Myormcorrhizal fungi form lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with roots. The soil your trees and plants survive in must be capable of performing all of the amazing functions that nature intended, including holding water, oxygen, and processing the nutrients your plants require. Urban soils are often times challenged with severe compaction issues, infiltration problems, and nutrient processing barriers. These are often initial stressors for plants, which in turn invite other disease and insect problems to take hold. We have many available technologies to correct these issues. Tree Health Management is focused on sustainability, and all of our Soil and Root Management Techniques provide just that: a sustainable way to create healthy, living soils. Healthy soils make healthy plants that are able to withstand the challenges of our environment.
We offer complete soil testing, including both chemical and biological components. We will also test soil structure, composition and bulk density to give you a full understanding of how your soil is functioning, and what it is or isn’t providing your plants.
Organic and Biological Soil Amendments
We use a custom blend of organic soils to restore soil health where the existing soil needs a boost. We also add different types of soil food, which encourages the microorganisms so important to soil biology to thrive. Lifeless soil leads to lifeless plants.
Organic Soil Replacements
Sometimes urban soils have been changed in composition, and the trees can be sensitive to these changes. This can happen through construction projects or other landscaping projects. Maybe the composition was not desirable in the first place, or needs to be changed for a desired tree to be planted. If your soil has become a wasteland, replacement could be your best option. This is exactly what it sounds like. We gently remove the old soil from around your tree using pressurized air so as not to cause any damage to roots and then replace it with the soil that is needed for your plants or trees to thrive. Our technology allows us to blend specific soils to meet any need.
Root Collar Excavations
Trees in urban environments often have problems with girdling roots (roots that have encircled the trunk and are effectively strangling the tree) causing early dieback and mortality on trees. Sometimes trees are planted with girdling roots, and sometimes the roots start to grow around the trunk due to improper planting or environmental conditions. Our remediation process involves safely exposing the root dish, and strategically removing the problem roots. We will finish with an incorporation of organic compost to provide a natural source of nutrients for years to come, as well as a properly installed mulch ring.
Our specialists are trained to diagnose problems with girdling roots from an above ground visual.
Soil Compaction Alleviation
Compaction has adverse effects on both the growth and development of trees and can be the catalyst for a spiral of tree decline. Compaction breaks down soil aggregates. Soil aggregates allow for pore space in soil, and that pore space is where oxygen and water are held. Destroying these aggregates means decreased water infiltration, and decreased respiration for the root system. Oxygen and water are growth requirements for the roots and the tree, and reducing them also means reducing growth and photosynthesis, which then reduces the trees’ energy stores, giving opportunistic insects and pathogens a chance to take hold. Trees in compacted soils can suffer decline both from a lack of water and nutrients, as well as increased disease and insect activity. Severely compacted soils can actually stop roots from growing entirely.
Our process involves loosening compacted soil with high pressure air, and using a proprietary blend of organic compost and engineered soils to create a soil environment that trees can thrive in for decades.