Whether you planted a bunch of trees this summer or you’re getting ready to add new ones this fall, you’re probably thinking about all the things you can do to keep them healthy through the fall and winter. Perhaps you’ve already made plans to mulch them and you’re still watering them as needed, but did you know that the soil can also be an issue for your trees? Compacted soil is a problem for both old trees and new ones that you might be looking to plant. Compacted soil can keep established trees from growing healthily and can prevent new trees from developing properly and getting established. But what is compacted soil and what can you do about it?
What Is It?
Compacted soil is actually just what it sounds like. It is soil that has been squashed and had its particles pushed together through pressure from foot traffic, lawnmowers, or other lawn equipment.
Why Is It a Problem?
When soil gets compacted all of the particles get squeezed together so that nothing can get through. And you want stuff to be able to get through the soil to the tree roots: water, nutrients, even air. All of these things have to make it to the roots to be sucked up into the tree and help it thrive. If they can’t get through the compacted soil, the tree will suffer.
How Can You Check For It?
There are two ways to check if you have compacted soil. First, get a screwdriver and drive it down into the soil. If it is hard to push into the dirt, you likely have compacted soil. The second way to check is to cut a chunk of soil out of the ground. If the soil has been compacted, it will look dull, grey, and dry.
What Do You Do About It?
You can correct the compacted soil if it is not too significant with compost, mulch, and worms. Mix the compost into the top 8-10 inches of dirt and then create a mulch ring around the tree. Adding earthworms will also help correct the issue because they eat through compacted dirt, leaving space for air and water to reach the roots. If your soil compaction is a serious issue, or if your trees really seem to be in distress, it is time to call in a professional.
Tree Care and Maintenance from Harford Tree
Ready to have the beautiful yard you have always dreamed of? Harford Tree Experts & Landscaping, Inc has been in the business for decades, providing customers with quality work and quick responses all at the right price. We service the areas of Harford County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City areas including Bel Air, Fallston, Perry Hall, Towson, Essex, Parkville, White Marsh and Middle River.
For service during business hours, reach out to us or give us a call at 410-592-7321. We offer 24/7 emergency service as well, just give us a call at 443-250-6649. For updates about our business and more informative tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.