Concerns About Saturated Soil Around Tree Roots
May 19, 2015
Billy Cook, Chief Arborist / Fort Worth Branch Manager
ISA Certified Arborist, TX-1151A
Texas Oak Wilt Certified - 0016
Metroplex soils are currently at complete saturation with additional rainfall to come. This presents a big concern for area trees.
Healthy roots need healthy soil.
Healthy root systems require a balance of soil pore space, water, and oxygen. Our current conditions are depleting much needed oxygen in the soil. As proper oxygenation of the soil goes away, anaerobic conditions (less oxygen in the soil) start to prevail. Root rot is the main concern when anaerobic conditions with depleted oxygen levels occur. Remember, to grow healthy, long-lived trees, you must pay attention to your soil as we explain here.
The solution to improving soil around tree roots.
Heavy aeration of the soil combined with porous soil amendments, through creating vertical ports in the soil can greatly increase gaseous exchange (oxygenation of the soil).
What is soil heaving?
Many trees are already dealing with highly diminished root systems due to the past years of intense drought. These ailing root systems are subject to increased trouble from the saturated conditions.
Trees in this state are also prone to soil heaving. The diminished root systems lose anchorage and are easily thrown in high winds. Trees that have a heavy lean to the main trunk / unbalanced canopy are of concern for this problem. Static tests can be done to judge whether a leaning tree is actually changing its anchorage position, and determine possible failure.