Wouldn’t trust anyone else with my trees! ”- Margaret S.


Thanks for the great service. ”- Randall J.

How Compacted Soil can Kill Your Trees

Rainfall in North Texas has been unrelenting at times this fall. While it’s great to make up on some of the major rainfall deficits we’ve experienced over the last few years, we didn’t need it all at once! Heavy, constant rainfall can spell trouble in areas with heavy clay soil, like we have here in the DFW area. Flooding and runoff are two obvious consequences of the heavy rain. Soil compaction is a less obvious issue, but one that can have a big impact on your trees.

Wood Graphicstock Ptsblog

Too much rainfall leaves the soil heavily compacted and water-logged.

How Does Heavy Rain Affect Soil?

It’s obvious that mechanical activity, such as heavy construction equipment and foot traffic can cause soil compaction. That’s why we always recommend a tree protection plan during construction. But, did you know heavy rain also causes soil compaction? When rainfall is heavy and persistent, the pores between soil particles become compacted – reducing the soils’ air exchange capacity.

Tree roots need oxygen exchange to survive. A healthy soil is made up of around 50% air space, held between soil particles. Once the soil becomes compacted, and the air spaces restricted, roots can no longer absorb the required amount of oxygen or expand properly. As a result your trees become stressed. Roots can die off, causing defoliation; weakened trees then become more susceptible to pests and diseases damage. Overall decline can set in.

Not only does heavy rain cause compaction in our soils, it also leaches away required nutrients and reduces organic matter.

Ptsaeration Kdillard

Aeration helps to combat soil compaction.

What can you do?

If you think your soils have become compacted, we suggest root zone soil aeration around your trees. Aeration helps to open up air spaces in your soil in order to re-oxygenate the root zone.

To aerate your soil we use a device called an air-spade which “punches” holes into the soil throughout the affected area. This creates spaces for not only air, but also for water. We then amend the soil with a product containing pea gravel, dried molasses, perlite, worm castings, lava sand and compost. Adding the organic amendments help to create an environment that is hospitable for beneficial organisms like mycorrhizae and earthworms – which in turn further help to improve the structure of the soil.

If you are concerned that your soils may have become compacted due to all of the heavy rain, or construction around your home, contact us for an evaluation. Aeration can be performed right now and will help out any trees suffering from water-logged soils.

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