As a landscaper, you know that fall is an important time for your business. There's a lot of work that can be done to ensure that your client's lawn and landscape are in prime condition before the onset of winter.
When it comes to fall tree care, there are four important things to remember: root rejuvenate, mulching, compost, root flare. Each is a method that can be used to rejuvenate a tree's roots.
1. Radial trenching/root rejuvenation
Radial trenching involves excavating narrow trench "spokes" outward from the tree's trunk and is a way to deal with a root that has had soil compaction. It's also a way to get oxygen to roots and to replace soil.
How it's done: The radial trenches should extend to tree's dripline with the soil conditions, tree health and the desired effect determining the depth. Root growth in the trenches will exceed that of the growth in the surrounding soil. The most common radial trenching technique uses an air-spade, which releases pressurized air into the soil and can break up even the toughest soils and clays. After the trenches have been dug, they can be filled with compost or topsoil.
2. Compost stirring
Another great method for fall root rejuvenation is compost and soil stirring. Using a product like AquaSmart Pro will greatly enhance your compost stirring efforts. AquaSmart Pro is an innovative product that will enhance drainage while decreasing water run-off. When activated, AquaSmart Pro can hold 12 times its weight in water.
How it's done: Compost is placed over the soil and then stirred into the top 4 to 6 inches with an air-spade or another tool.
3. Vertical mulching
Vertical mulching is a technique that alleviates soil compaction within the critical root zones of trees. Remember, soil compaction is harmful because it reduces the amount of pore space in the soil that's filled with water and oxygen. The greater the amount of compaction, the more root growth and function will be restricted.
How it's done: During the process of vertical mulching, vertical holes are made in the soil - typically where fill soil has been added over roots, or where compaction is particularly heavy. Vertical mulching effectively loosens compacted soil.
4. Root flare excavation
When a tree's root flare is not visible, it usually means that it has been covered by fill soil. Over time, excessive fill soil can cause the bark layer and root flares to decay. Root girdling, in which a smaller root as grown around the base of the tree and larger roots, can also restrict the flow of water and oxygen.
How it's done: Compressed air is used to move excessive soil from the base of the tree, which reduces damage to large roots and tree trunks.