The roots of your trees are not only their foundation, but are also the channels that bring water and nutrients into the tree. Your soil is the storehouse that holds the water, oxygen and nutrients until your tree’s roots are ready to take them up into the tree. In some cases, especially in urban landscape environments, root collars can become covered and the soil may become too compacted to hold the oxygen, water and nutrients your tree’s roots need to deliver into the tree.

The root collar is the area of the trunk just above the roots. If this portion of the tree is covered with soil or mulch, it can cause a number of problems for the tree; most notably that the phloem cells can suffocate, causing a disruption in the movement of food from the leaves to the roots. When the soil becomes compacted, a common occurrence in urban landscapes, the oxygen and water vital to the tree’s health can be pushed away from the roots, starving the tree of elements essential to the production of food. Also, if the soil is too compacted and becomes saturated with water, the lack of drainage away from the roots can effectively “drown”the tree and cause the roots to rot and decay, weakening the tree’s foundation and creating a potential hazard.

Root collar excavation is a relatively simple procedure using a high-pressure Air Spade to safely remove soil or mulch from around the root collar without causing damage to the tree. Soil aeration is essential to maintaining the proper flow of water and nutrients through the soil and around the roots; too little water and the tree will starve, too much and the tree could effectively drown. At TREEMASTERS we use an air-powered machine called the Grow Gun that shoots tiny ceramic balls into the soil, creating aeration channels in the soil to promote root health and root growth.

Root Collar Excavation And Soil Aeration FAQ

Q: What Are The Benefits Of Soil Aeration?

A: Soil aeration will help de-compact the soil, allowing for the proper flow and storage of oxygen and water needed for plant respiration. Aeration provides two services to the tree roots: It allows space for the pores containing water and oxygen, and also creates drainage for excess water to run away from the roots, avoiding saturation and root decay.

Q: What Is The Benefit Of Using The Air Spade Over Traditional Methods Of Root Collar Excavation?

A: Traditional methods of root collar excavation involve hand tools like shovels and picks that can cause damage to the tree. They are also more time consuming and increase the chances of injury to the worker. The Air Spade is a safe and effective means of clearing excess soil and mulch from the root collar without damaging the tree.

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