Soil creates a base for trees and contributes to tree health in many ways. Soil problems, such as the three listed below, affect the health of your trees in major ways and often require professional attention to remedy. Your tree service expert will advise property owners on how to deal with these common soil problems.



Compaction occurs in certain areas of your property, most often due to foot, vehicle or equipment traffic. Heavy or consistent weight compacts soil and eliminates natural air pockets found in the ground. Tree roots use these air pockets to collect nutrients, sustaining tree health and encouraging growth.

Soil compaction can be reversed through several methods, including mixing soil additives into the area, gently tilling the soil or using an air spade to break up the soil. Tree service experts may also recommend treating the area with organic products that naturally break down the compacted soil.

Imbalanced Nutrients

While soil compaction reduces the amount of air pockets in the soil, other factors affect the balance of nutrients as well. Overwatering fills the existent air pockets and limits the amount of oxygen absorbed by tree roots. Underwatering creates a dry, cakey soil and leads to leggy, thirsty roots and unhealthy trees.

Overfertilization is another problem that results in injured roots and imbalanced soil. Underfertilization presents less of a risk, but could deter root development over time, especially in clay or mainly sandy soils. Soil needs the proper balance of air, water and nutrients for roots to thrive.


Applying too much mulch to the base of trees limits water and oxygen distribution and harms the tree’s roots. Layer mulch no more than six inches deep and use a natural product that will break down slowly over time, adding nutrients to the surrounding soil. Mulch layers thicker than six inches act as a blanket or barrier and deter soil quality and tree health.

Remove or thin out overly thick mulch to give the soil opportunity to regain balance. Also avoid piling mulch up against the tree trunk, as this encourages fungal and insect problems on most tree species.

Your tree services professional knows how to address each of these problems, regaining optimum tree health and soil conditions.