From Dirt Distress to Soil Success

From Dirt Distress to Soil Success

Why is soil not dirt?

Dirt is what is found on your clothes after playing outside. Soil, on the other hand, is a living, breathing, symbiotic ecosystem teeming with bacteria, fungi, algae, and other tiny creatures.

Dirt is what we are left with after development takes place. Whether because all the soil was scraped away for grading, or the pounding the soil takes from heavy equipment running back and forth over it, by the time construction is complete, the soil is as dead as dirt.

When this takes place beneath our trees, it can have significant consequences. Water and air are unable to penetrate. All the beneficial bacteria and fungi that help make nutrients available are gone. The fine fibrous roots that plants use to uptake water and nutrients are also gone, and unable to regrow because the once-soil-now-dirt has the bulk density of a brick.

While the impact of this compaction may not be immediately noticeable, without remediation a tree’s chances at long term survival are drastically reduced. Particularly our older trees that do not have the reserves to bounce back from significant stress. Typically, trees that experience significant soil compaction begin to show the effects of decline within 3-5 years of the event.

This is where we come in. Compressed air tools, like an air knife or our Airtech device, can decompact the soil without harming the roots themselves, and allow us to reintroduce organic matter into the dirt and begin the process of turning it back into soil once more.

If you’re concerned about recent construction around your trees, please give us a call. Our ISA Certified Arborists can assess the tree, soil, and surroundings, and determine the best course of action for your living landscape.

Chris Diffley

Chris is a Board Certified Master Arborist, Tree Risk Assessment Qualified, a North Carolina Licensed Landscape Contractor, Registered Consulting Arborist and a member of the American Society of Consulting Arborists. He has has 20+ years of experience in the industry, and currently serves as Vice President of the Southern Chapter of the ISA.

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