Better Soil Means Healthier Trees

As resilient as trees may appear, they actually require a good amount of care to stay healthy and strong. Even if you water them, give them fertilizer, and have them pruned regularly, some trees can still be pretty finicky. So, what do you do when it seems like you’re doing all of the right things but your tree still continues to decline? Check the soil!

Tree health depends on just the right balance of nutrients, moisture, and pH along with plenty of oxygen. Soil that’s too acidic or lacking in the minerals your tree needs can create major problems that can’t be fixed no matter how much fertilizer you throw at it. At Southern Pines Tree Care, we offer a variety of soil care services designed to give your trees the healthy foundation they need to grow.

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Soil Care Services

A healthy tree starts with healthy soil. But, there’s a lot that goes into creating the perfect nutrient-rich environment for your trees. The following are just a few of the soil services we provide, here at Southern Pines Tree Care.
soil testing

Soil Testing

The first step in determining how to improve your soil is to first assess what your soil has, and what it is lacking. The best way to do this is through a soil test. To do this, soil samples are first procured from your yard and then they are sent off to a laboratory for various types of tests. These tests may include quantifying essential plant nutrients, soil salinity, and pH, among other things.

Soil Amendment

Once you know the composition of your soil, then you can identify key areas for improvement. Amendments are substances that can be added to improve soil’s physical, chemical, and biological makeup. Some examples include compost, bone meal, blood meal, mulch, and worm castings. Whether you need to adjust the pH, improve nutrient density, or increase oxygen, choosing the right amendments for your soil is essential for the health of your trees.

Soil Conditioning

Soil structure is important for tree health. Soil that is compacted (as is common with clay soils) doesn’t allow for the movement of air or moisture around the roots. Therefore, soil conditioners must be added to loosen the structure and aid in water retention. Examples of soil conditioners include mulch, gypsum, and yard trimmings.

Vertical Mulching

This type of mulching is similar to other forms of soil augmentation except that fertilizers are placed in vertical pockets around the root system of the tree to aid with its healthy growth. The first step is to dig long, narrow holes into the soil. These not only aid in decompaction but also provide an easy way to deliver nutrients directly to the tree’s root system.

Soil Decompaction

When soil becomes compacted, it doesn’t allow a tree to get the moisture and air it needs, plus roots have a difficult time expanding. Over time, compacted soil can lead to reduced growth, wilting, or even death.

FAQs About Soil Care

What is the difference between a soil conditioner and a soil amendment?

Although they may sound like the same thing, there is a difference. Soil amendments are a general class of products or ingredients that are used to improve soil health and performance. Conditioners are a type of soil amendment that specifically aim to improve soil structure.

What are some good soil amendments for clay soil?

It’s hard to grow anything in hard, clay soil. If you want to loosen the soil and prevent it from compacting, you can add things like compost, sawdust, grass clippings, or shredded leaves.

What kind of fertilizer should I use?

Trees need vitamins and nutrients found in certain fertilizers but choosing the right one can be difficult. It’s probably best to first get your soil tested so you can understand what it is lacking and how it should be supplemented.

How often should you add soil amendments?

That all depends on the quality of your soil. It’s a good idea to have your soil tested every few years to determine what, if anything, your soil is lacking.

Do you provide soil and tree care services outside of Southern Pines?

Yes! We also service Pinehurst, Aberdeen, Whispering Pines, Vass, Pinebluff, Seven Lakes, West End, Carthage, and other surrounding communities. To find out if we provide service in your area, please give us a call!

Signs You May Have Problems With Your Soil

Soil and sunlight are the building blocks for trees. That’s why soil health is so important if you want your trees to thrive. If you notice any of the signs below, it might be because of poor or compacted soil.

  • Shallow tree roots
  • Stunted growth
  • Puddles of water
  • Dry, crumbly soil
  • Wilted leaves
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Southern Pines Tree Care provides soil testing and augmentation services to residential and commercial properties in Southern Pines, Pinehurst, and the surrounding communities. Give us a call or fill out the form below to learn more about soil testing or other services and to get a free quote.