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Tree health requires more than sunlight and water; protect your trees by preserving their surrounding soil and their root systems.

Protect the soil around your trees to preserve and enhance tree health and growth:


Prevent the culprit that is compromising your trees: compacted soil. The particles of soil get packed so tightly that water and oxygen are unable to get around their roots. It makes it difficult for the tree’s roots to absorb what it needs, so it could decline or even die. Aerate and till the soil around the trunks and roots of your trees each year for optimal growth.


While your trees may be hardy, their roots are more delicate. Don’t plant in areas that will get a lot of foot-traffic. For instance, don’t arrange for a playground near prized young trees. Give them time and space to grow without jeopardizing the roots just under the soil.


Got construction projects going on? Try to fence around your trees, as far as the canopy and furthest branches reach. Avoid stacking or driving over the area near your tree, but if you must, lay a path of plywood to more-evenly distribute the heavy load over the ground. Sometimes problems arise later, when resulting compacted soil issues affect growth and hardiness of your trees.


Even though mulch is completely utilitarian, it is also quite decorative; lay mulch over the roots and surrounding area of your trees and people will shy away from walking over it. Kids won’t choose this spot to play ball and pedestrians won’t cut across the surface. It makes a great people-deterrent!


When it rains or during wet seasons, know that the water is compacting the soil. Try not to walk or cross the area until the soil has had a chance to completely dry-out. This will curb how compacted the soil becomes significantly.


If there is a reason why you – or others – need to tread or traverse over the roots and surrounding area of your trees, add a few well-placed stepping stones. First, this will guide the walker through the least-damaging route for your foliage, and second, these stones help to distribute weight more evenly.

Think about the many elements that impact how compacted your soil is, which directly impacts tree health. For instance, are there cars parked nearby? How about construction equipment or building materials? Take a good look around to see if you are adding to the stress on your trees’ roots with items that are compacting the soil.

Got trees that are not living up to their potential? Compacted soil could be to blame; for tree care and expert landscape services, contact Natural Tendencies Landscape Professionals, in Charleston. Learn more about preserving and protecting your trees from compacted soil conditions.