The urban soil environment plays a large role in the crown health and over all vitality of your trees. Providing a spacious area for your trees root systems may not be easy. We have houses, sidewalks, garages, and other trees that all need space in our limited urban sites. Within these space limitations we must do all that we can to make a small space feel big. The soil in Colorado, especially in Boulder where snow during the winter months can be a hit-or-miss situation, is dry. Many times the tree’s roots will be shallow, and become surface roots trying to absorb what ever moisture is in the ground.
Natural surface soil tends to hold the most water and nutrients. It is generally considered to be the best soil structure because of this. Mechanical damage is detrimental to trees. Lawnmowers and weed whackers damage roots and this affects overall growth in the crown of the tree. “Lawnmower-itis” is a typical aliment urban trees suffer from. Poor, dehydrated, nutrient starved soil can result in poor root development and reduced tree growth. It is not easy to add organic material and till soil around a tree that has been there 30 years. With proper tools in the hands of a certified professional, the soil can be loosened and organic matter can be added without root damage.
Compost tea, decomposed and recycled organic matter that when broken down is full of beneficial bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes. It replenishes the soil and acts as a natural fertilizer to restore balance to the plant and it’s soil environment. It sounds delicious if you’re a tree! We re-pot house plants to give them a replenishment of nutrients and food for growth. This isn’t possible for trees. Large trees can pull nutrients from soil quickly. Most trees are surrounded by grass in our yards. Grass requires completely different soil chemistry, so when you fertilize your lawn you end up changing the nutrient soil compatibility for your trees.
Lawn fertilizer will leave your grass lush and full, but your trees will be left feeling hungry. Compost tea has soluble nutrients and other great benefits that can support soil composition and root
growth resulting in more a productive crown. Maintaining a natural, balanced state is the goal for soil replenishment, not to over-nourish.
Mulch, mulch, mulch!
Replacing grass around trees with native mulch is beneficial to the soil and adds protection from mechanical damage to surface root systems. On our website you can find several references and articles about the benefits of native mulch and how much we love mulch for landscapes, flower beds, and most of all for your trees.
Balanced soil is an important part of a tree’s health support system. Poor soil, and damaged roots can contribute to stress factors. It can reduce a tree’s natural ability to defend itself from pests and can lead to decline. Restoring balance to the soil will create a long-term positive change in the health of your trees from roots to crown.
Request a consultation today for a free evaluation of your tree’s health.