One of the biggest contributors to tree stress and health issues is soil compaction. In the city especially, foot traffic, construction, and vehicle traffic, all contribute to a lack of oxygen and depleted nutrients in the soil around your trees.
One of the ways we try to mitigate these effects is by installing soil aeration tubes around the root zone of a tree. These tubes are installed by creating a column in the ground using a supersonic air spade tool. The tube is permeable so the tree’s roots will have access to the air and water that the tube allows into the ground. This gives the tree’s roots room to grow, and provides necessary oxygen and water access.
What We Found
We got a chance to see how effective these tubes are in promoting tree root growth. A young tree that we planted last spring was badly damaged during some construction work and had to be removed. We had installed aeration tubes in the root zone of this tree, and when we dug up the tubes to remove the root ball of the tree, we made an exciting discovery:
We found a number of feeding roots growing into and then out of the aeration tube. The roots had followed the oxygen and water that the tube provided and this allowed them to establish in the soil.
We also found a number of good root growth at the bottom of the tube, which is very encouraging, as a deep root system is a strong root system.
These are all very good signs that the tubes are working to allow for oxygen and water to reach the roots of the tree. It is especially encouraging to see this much growth on such young trees, as establishing a strong root system in the first couple years in a new environment is critical to the success of the tree as it grows.
Be Good to Your Trees!