Soil health is not a typical conversation many homeowners have before planting a tree. We’ve come across many trees that end up in compacted soil unable to breath, becoming suffocated due to the lack of oxygen. This stunts their growth, blocking their full potential. Many homeowners treat soil temporarily without fully understanding what their soil needs, this can end up causing more disruption to the soils bacteria and fungi systems. Applying Copper Sulfate, which is used in many lawn care products, can kill the bad and beneficial bacteria in your yard. Without the good bacteria we loose Fungi, Protozoa, Nematodes and Microanthropods. This may sound like a good thing for someone who is afraid of creepy crawlers, but for the plant and tree roots, they are needed for survival!
The energy moving through tree roots is used to build structural roots, this helps prevent the tree from falling over by firming themselves down into the soil. Fifty percent of the energy in tree roots are released as simple sugars, proteins, and carbs. We wouldn’t have this in our soil without oxygen and living microorganisms throughout the soil layers. Without organisms to retain soluble nutrients, a plant can no longer take up these nutrients due to it being in soluble form, the tree suffers because of this.
In order to bring the soil back to its natural state, composting is essential. Composting enriches soil, retains moisture, suppresses disease, which reduces the need for chemical fertilizers and encourages bacteria and fungi needed in order to break down organic matter in the soil creating humus. Humus is a rich nutrient filled material created by decomposition of leaves, plants, and animal matters. Using wood chips and food sources help as well as upping your diversity of organisms. Try this out by bringing a tablespoon of soil from a Forrest in your! Dig down a few inches of the soil, and bring home a Tablespoon to put in your compost to process and spread. Every quarter teaspoon of compost should have 1,000 different species of fungi and the same amount for protozoa. Many think they are lacking phosphorus, nitrogen, and/or having PH issues in the soil, it could be as simple of as your soil is lacking bacteria life, without life there is no oxygen in the soil!
If you are unsure about your soil health call us today for a free consultation! We are able to send the soil for testing and go over what would be needed to help bring your soil back to life!