URBAN SOIL REPAIR FOR TREES

Our urban soils are unnatural environments for our planted trees. Arborists can deploy a variety of techniques that will mimic a healthy forest floor, improve nutrient cycling, and reduce compaction.

 
Strong Soils. Stronger Roots.

Symbiosis uses approved Arboriculture techniques to improve the soil around your favorite tree.

Ingredients for a Healthy Soil

Planted trees in an urban environment live a much shorter life-span compared to their volunteer (not-planted) counterparts. Why? People commonly make the mistake of planting a tree in an incorrect spot, but also because urban soils suffer from compaction, lack of organic material and limited nutrient availability.

A healthy urban soil, that can support and maximize the lifespan of a planted tree, includes these ingredients:

Good Oxygen flow – Limit soil compaction
Organic material – Like you see on a forest floor
Nutrient availability - Specific for the individual tree
Water Holding Capacity – Is the soil well drained or poorly drained?


How Certified Arborists Re-Create Healthy Urban Soils

Till the soil: To reduce compaction, improve oxygen flow, and to improve water holding capacity, Certified Arborists use a high-powered air gun to carefully till the soil around the root-zone. Using air, instead of a plow, will prevent damage to the sensitive root structure.

Mimic an organic forest floor: When you walk through a forest, you’re typically walking on branches, fallen trees, and old leaves. This is essentially a composting site and is critically important to improve nutrient cycling. The more carbon material that is on the forest floor, the better the nutrient cycling! Certified Arborists use mulch, compost, and engineered soil amendments to mimic a healthy forest floor.
 
Do Liquid Fertilizers Help?

The old method to improve tree health has been to blast a liquid fertilizer in the root zone. Unfortunately, many tree companies avoid soil testing before these applications, which can be considered negligent. It’s almost impossible to know what nutrients a tree is lacking without a soil test.

Second, when you blast fertilizers into the ground, a large portion of those nitrates will leech into our ground water supply. With renewed focus on our ground water, many Certified Arborists are removing liquid fertilizer applications from their toolbox for this specific reason.

“In the next 10 years, liquid fertilizer applications won’t exist in tree care due to their harmful side effects and limited effectiveness”
-Minnesota Shade Tree Short Course

 

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