Soil Sampling Success at Wachtel Tree Science
Written by: By Luke Scheberl, Certified Arborist WI-1324A
Posted: 2020 | Consulting | Fall | Plant Health Care | Tree and Shrub Care
Wachtel Tree Science’s new soil evaluation has had a very successful first year with over 30 tests done already! Sampling can help us make the best management decision for your trees. Here are a handful of success stories.
Building soil quality
A client called about their Paper Bark Maple that keeps having an early leaf drop in late summer. He applies wood mulch diligently to improve site quality and waters when needed. To identify any site limitations, soil samples were taken from the planting bed and the nearby turf to compare the sites.
The turf area had only 2 inches of wet low-quality topsoil which limits root growth and decreases tree health. However, the planting bed soil had over 8 inches of dark-colored topsoil providing the perfect environment for roots. The soil samples were taken only 4-5 feet apart and the difference was the result of long-term mulching.
After testing, we altered the client’s plan for installing a brick pathway that would have increased drainage issues causing more tree stress. By spending a little bit of time exploring the soil we were able to help guide landscape design and the site management for the tree.
While assessing a River Birch for chlorosis (leaf yellowing) we decided to do a full soil evaluation on the site.
When collecting the soil sample, it was discovered that half of the soil samples were still dry despite recent watering. Proper soil moisture is key to tree health as many issues can be linked to improper soil moisture (too much and too little). Taking soil samples allowed us to a simple management strategy to improve site quality and tree health.
These cases highlight the importance of taking some time to learn the soil conditions that trees are growing in. Lots of above-ground tree issues start in the soil and a better understanding of the site conditions is critical. At Wachtel, we can provide soil evaluations to help guide tree management. If you have any concerns about your tree or soil health give Wachtel Tree Science a call today. Because after all, healthy trees need healthy soil.