Most tree lovers don't realize this, but over eighty percent of the root system of a tree sits within a zone a foot below the surface of the soil where sufficient oxygen still remains for the tree to survive.
Under ideal circumstances, soil consists of half solids and half pore space which is occupied by water and air.
A common problem facing tree roots is soil compaction which occurs when vehicular or foot traffic exerts downward compacting pressure on the soil beneath.
Microscopically small “feeder” roots at the surface of the soil are crushed, causing the soil to lose the ability to transport water and oxygen to the root system, thereby causing an unhealthy imbalance in the tree and creating a negative condition known as soil compaction.
Heavy equipment in particular (e.g., construction equipment) can crush the shallow roots of even the largest trees. By limiting the air and water supply to a tree's roots, soil compaction can reduce the available spore space within the soil.
This in turn leaves scant room for adequate tree root hydration which is critical to healthy tree growth, as well as causing anaerobic soil activity which causes the tree stress and can lead over time to a gradual decline in the health of a tree.
Symptoms of Soil Compaction Some common symptoms of soil compaction are:
Poor leaf growth
Dieback of branches and foliage
Reduced size and number of leaves
The failure of a tree to respond properly to care
Vulnerability to environmental stress and pest problems
The Solution: Vertical Mulching For a tree that is looking unhealthy or worn out, vertical mulching might prove to be the exact solution it needs by encouraging healthy root growth.
Whereas traditional mulch that is placed on the surface around a tree can offer overall benefits, it doesn't cause the proper amount of nutrients and air to get down under the surface of the soil to reach the roots.
Vertical mulching, on the other hand, describes the technology of drilling safe holes down into the root zone around a tree, without invading the roots themselves.
Advantages of Vertical Mulching The process of vertical mulching can accomplish several simultaneous goals for the roots of a tree.
It can help to aerate soil right where roots are located.
It can free up more room in the soil for the two most critically important ingredients for the production of healthy roots: water and oxygen.
It can help to inject additional organic material directly into the soil in and around the root system. These materials break down in the soil, providing sustenance for micro-organisms that are beneficial to the health of a tree, as well as creating greater root aeration which is important for the nutritional requirements of a tree.
The Vertical Mulching Process Vertical mulching can reduce the effects of soil compaction and the resulting stress on your trees, while itself causing no stress to a tree whatsoever.
Specialized tools create holes in a grid pattern across the root zone of a tree affected by soil compaction. Organic material like mulch and rich compost is then placed into the holes, after which a layer of fresh mulch is spread over the entire area.
Vertical mulching not only delivers rich nutrients to the root system, it aids in increased aeration of the soil.
Benefits of Vertical Mulching Since compacted soil can adversely affect a tree's health and vitality, vertical mulching can bring even the most lackluster looking tree back to life.
Promotion of water penetration to the subsoil during dry weather periods.
Promotion of natural aeration during wet weather periods.
Minimization of root damage due to excess water.
Formation of greater a number of feeder roots.
Nashua Tree Service We love trees and we know that you do too. For the finest and most professional, loving care for the trees in your life that are important to you, call us at (877) 959-9540 today for a free quote.