Improving or repairing tree growing environments is a vital component of caring for trees in urban areas. The good health of your plants depends on several key factors, but the starting point is healthy soil. Without healthy soil, your plants will not thrive. Ontree can assist in improving plant soils through such actions as fertilizing, mulching, aerating, and injecting mycorrhizae.
A primary step in assuring good tree health is to provide nutrient and mineral rich soils. Nutrients and minerals are used by roots to feed and fuel tree growth. But like any food source, nutrients and minerals frequently need to be replenished. Fertilizing your trees is a good way to replenish a tree’s food source.
Fertilizing is typically done by injection of a premixed solution into a tree’s root zone. Injection holes are spaced one meter apart and cover the tree’s entire root zone wherever possible. Through this method of application, the fertilizer is able to reach a far greater portion of a tree’s uptake roots, allowing maximum absorption of the nutrients.
Specialized fertilizers are available to meet specific nutrient deficiencies, or to promote recovery following injury to roots or crown.
Mulching is the process of spreading organic material over a plant’s root zone. Mulching moderates soil temperatures, increases moisture retention in the soil, and provides nutrients to your plants for several years.
Ontree repurposes much of the debris generated in the process of tree care. Branches that have been pruned are put through our chippers, producing mulch in the form of wood chips. Wood chips are an excellent and relatively inexpensive mulch that can be applied to any exposed soils.
Mulching is good to apply to any tree or shrub at any time, and is particularly recommended where soils are exposed.
Aerating is the process of removing soil from a given area. Aerating is most helpful in recently disturbed soils where compaction has occurred, such as on construction sites. Soil compaction limits the amount of airflow through the roots, reducing oxygen levels, and in effect, suffocating the trees. Aerating helps to decrease soil volume in a way that is not harmful to the root system and provides great benefits to your trees
The process of aerating involves using an auger to drill 5 cm diameter holes to a depth of 30 – 45 cm. The debris from the hole is removed, which provides more space for the remaining soil. The holes are generally spaced 1 meter apart, over the entire working area. In some cases, the holes are backfilled with sand, or with organic soil.
Mycorrhizae are beneficial fungi that form a symbiotic relationship with roots and assist trees by improving nutrient and water uptake, improving root growth and reducing drought stress. Mycorrhizae occur naturally in undisturbed soils, but are deficient in urban or disturbed soils.
Mycorrhizae are injected into a tree’s root zone in the same manner as fertilizer, and can be used in conjunction with fertilizers.