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What Exactly is Soil Fertility and Why Is It Important?

What Exactly is Soil Fertility and Why Is It Important?

Read on to learn why soil fertility is so important for tree roots.

When caring for trees, we usually focus on what we can see: the canopy. Pruning is a crucial tool for managing trees, but ignoring what’s happening below ground is leaving out a large piece of the picture. Tree roots are the breathing, living, resource-collecting first step in the photosynthesis process. Making sure they have everything they need is important for maintaining and improving tree health. Read on to learn more!

How Do Roots Ever Work?

Roots connect to the leaves of your trees by small tubes in the sapwood, from top to bottom. Water evaporating from leaves will create suction, which carries all the way to the roots and draws water in from the soil. Dissolved in this water are a few of the minerals and nutrients the tree needs to grow newer leaves, create new wood, and then protect itself. The remaining nutrients need to be forced into the roots using a process that will require oxygen, like how we breathe. This will set up a list of soil conditions required for roots to thrive:

  • The necessary nutrients, in enough quantity and in the correct chemical form to be very absorbable
  • Small pore spaces filled with water and large pore spaces filled with air


All plants require nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and other elements in smaller amounts. These elements are generally present in the soil in various absorbable forms. It is a good idea to have your urban and suburban soils distributed and separated. These disturbances could lead to soils that lack nutrients or nutrients in a chemical form that roots do not absorb.

Pore Space

Like nutrients, trees require pore spaces of different quantities and sizes. Macropores are big spaces that fill up with air, allowing roots to breathe. Micropores are small spaces that retain water after rains or the water will stop. In prolonged floods, macropores fill with water, which could lead to roots suffocating. In droughts, even the micropores could drain, leading to soil hardening and compacting. Soil compaction could also occur from driving and walking over root systems.

For more information and help dealing with soil fertility with your tree’s roots, give Harford Tree a call today!

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, and 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 and Twitter.

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2024 at 2:36 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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