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Entretient Arbre

Soil and Root System Management

Root systems and soil are often overlooked in arboricultural care. However, they are often related to tree growth problems and sometimes even to certain security problems. Such issues are frequently the result of soil anchorage that has been weakened by a number of factors; these include decay of the root system, a previous excavation, excessive compaction, or simply space that is too restrained.

Thankfully, technology and studies have allowed us to remedy some of these situations. With the help of an air excavation tool (the Air-Spade), we can access the root area without affecting the integrity of the system.

A Few Possible Operations…

Decompaction by adding organic matter and much
Soil compaction is probably one of the worst enemies of our urban trees. The mere act of walking over wet soil can cause a compaction, which in turn can restrict the growth of the roots and decrease the tree's ability to intake water and nutrients necessary for its development.

The soil is decompacted using an Air-Spade; a compost mixture is then added to the soil, and a mulch covering is put on top in order to prevent the new mix from drying out. The area is then watered generously.

Elimination of suffocating roots
In certain situations, trees can create roots that encircle the trunk. These can suffocate the trunk by restricting the circulation of the sap at the level of the stump and thus cause the overall health of the tree to decline.

With the help of the Air-Spade excavation tool, we are able to reach the harmful roots and eradicate them without causing any damage to the roots nearby.

Root system health assessments
Whether dealing with decay caused by a fungus or damage brought upon by an insect, the Air-Spade excavation tool enables us to make a precise diagnosis without harming the tree's healthy roots.

Excavation for underground pipe or cable installation
Sometimes, electrical or telecommunications cables (night lighting, grounding, etc.) or even irrigation pipes need to be installed in the tree's root system. The Air-Spade excavation tool enables us to dig trenches under the root system and install this kind of equipment without affecting the health of the roots.

Vertical mulch application
This practice involves making 4-inch-thick holes 20 to 24 inches deep in the root area in order to deposit compost; this reduces the compaction of the soil, increases oxygen supply, and adds organic matter to the root system.

Mulch strips
On top of having the same benefits as those listed in the vertical mulch application section, this type of operation allows us to cover a greater root surface area. The depth of the strips may vary, however.

Root pruning
Sometimes, excavation projects carried out in the proximity of trees require the pre-cutting of roots. With the Air-Spade excavation tool, we can reach the root system and make clean cuts therein without tearing the roots in the process. This reduces the risk of decay and weak anchorage in the ground.

Decompaction following construction work
It is well known and well documented that during construction work, machinery can compact the soil around a tree's roots significantly. This prevents water and sunlight from penetrating the ground and deprives the roots of essential elements for nutrient absorption.

This is but an indication of the many services that Arbo-Design's team of arborists can provide for you to enhance your tree's health underground. Never forget that the roots are an integral part of your tree. Ask for a free consultation.