A Common Cause Of Soil Compaction Is Heavy Equipment Driving Over Root Zones and Repeated Foot Travel

Did you know that trees roots need oxygen? It might be hard to believe that anything that grows underground needs oxygen but it’s true. In fact in a tree’s natural habitat, forests, the top 6 inches of soil is 50% oxygen. However, the average urban soil has only 10% which can lead to early mortality for trees. This difference in oxygen levels occurs because of the compaction of the urban soil, caused by frequent traffic (foot or equipment), construction, and other ecological disturbances. Recent research shows that 80% of urban tree decline can be attributed to this compaction.

Symptoms & Signs of Soil Compaction:

  • Overall decline in the tree’s health
  • Canopy dieback
  • Presence of Secondary invaders (insects & diseases)
  • Areas under the canopy where grass doesn’t grow

But it isn’t all bad news; with proper care and procedures such as Aeration you can restore crucial oxygen pore space in the soil and relieve the stress on your trees.

The process of Aeration de-compacts the soil within the critical root zone and helps restore the tree’s environment to one it will biologically thrive in.  Soils are de-compacted without damaging the root system using a High Velocity Air Tool that utilizes compressed air technology. As the high powered compressed air is injected into the soil it fractures the soil increasing macro and micro pore space, allowing for greater moisture and oxygen potential. When performed under the guidance of a certified arborist or trained plant health care specialist there are numerous benefits.

Benefits of Aeration:

  • Promotes Plant and Root Growth
  • Controls the Formation of Toxic Materials
  • Promotes Growth and Activity of Microorganisms
  • Controls the Development of Plant Diseases

The importance of aerating the soil in your tree cannot be stressed enough. It is vital for optimal tree/root health and should be performed regularly for best results. If you are a member of our Canopy Protection Program you have the benefit of soil monitoring and if a soil compaction issue does develop your Arborist will be there to provide a solution.

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Samantha Huff

Samantha Huff is the marketing coordinator at RTEC Treecare. She enjoys learning about the technical aspects of trees and the insects and diseases that prey on them. She hopes that these articles can help homeowners gain control of their tree and shrub maintenance by being aware of the signs and symptoms of unhealthy trees.

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