In our urban and suburban environments, soils bear little
resemblance to those in nature. Often all the topsoil has been
stripped away and natural systems of organic matter and
beneficial fungi are nearly non-existent. Most companies offer a
one-size-fits-all approach to tree and shrub fertilization. Basic
nutrients may be provided but little or nothing is done to address
the lack of micro-nutrients and beneficial soil fungi. Fertilization of
a stressed tree or shrub can stimulate new growth, but in an
unhealthy plant such a stimuli will expend stored reserves and may
lead to its early demise. Improper fertilization can also lead to
weaker, thinner cell walls which make trees and shrubs more
vulnerable to insects and disease.
The Arbor Doctor’s fertilization and root health care programs are
tailored to the needs of individual trees and shrubs. We use
products which are primarily designed to enhance plant system
health rather than to induce growth. Our mycorrhizal innoculants
are designed to improve and develop the beneficial relationships
roots are meant to have with soil-borne fungi. We add
micro-nutrients to address deficiencies common to poor urban
and suburban soils.
In the woods, tree roots grow in good topsoil mulched by
seasonal leaf drop. Tree roots develop complex
inter-relationships with beneficial micro-organisms which are
vital to good tree growth. In home landscapes, growing
environments are much more hostile with high compaction, poor
soil quality, and therefore poor root zone aeration, poor moisture
penetration, and insufficient development of beneficial
micro-organisms. Soil compaction is the most common problem
for trees in urban areas. Compacted soils have lost macro pore
spaces that normally hold air and water. That hinders respiration
and severe compaction can suffocate a tree.
Mature trees may be valued at many thousands of dollars each,
adding 7 to 25% to your property value. Mature trees cannot be
replaced, yet as trees age they, like people, become less
efficient and more vulnerable to stresses. As stresses build,
trees become more vulnerable to plant pests, diseases, and
environmental stress. It is much easier to keep a tree healthy
than to bring a tree back from the brink of death. Even a tree
which has declined can sometimes be stabilized and improved.
Aeration is probably the most beneficial process we can
provide for tree and root zone health. We use an air knife to
punch holes with high pressure air into the tree root zone and ra
dially fracture the soil profile. Vertical mulching opens up soil
pore spaces allowing oxygen and moisture penetration.
Introduction of organic matter and root zone inoculate into the
holes we create aid in enhancing soil microbial activity.
Because the air knife radially fractures the soil, it is a much
more complete aeration than the drill hole method.
Liquid Fertilization/Root Zone Inoculation is the injection of
macronutrients, micronutrients, and beneficial
micro-organisms intended to improve root health and overall
tree health. We use slow release, low nitrogen products and
tailor our applications to the specific needs of your plants.
Materials used by most other companies include only
macronutrients and may or may not contain a slow release
component and micro-organisms. In special circumstances
such as Emerald Ash Borer we can also include systemic
insecticides with this application. This service is generally
included in our plant health care programs and can be added
for larger or specimen trees.