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Root Aeration

Root Aeration

Hendel's root aeration program is used to improve soil conditions and incorporates several key plant health treatments. By using high-volume air through a patented tool, it loosens the soil to improve aeration and reduce compaction, without any negative impact on the root system. During this process, the soil chemistry is adjusted by prescription to best favor the plant. Organic matter is incorporated, as it is commonly deficient in urban soils, and because of the many physical and chemical benefits it provides. A Hendel tree care representative can determine whether trees on your property would benefit from this service.

We provide a variety of treatments to both encourage root development, as well as prevent root encroachment beneath sidewalks and driveways. Property managers and owners frequently ask about treatments to eliminate surface roots of trees, especially in lawn areas. Certain species, such as red maple, birch, and elm are inherently shallow-rooted and more prone to producing surface roots. Surface roots are more common in heavy clay soils compared to sands or loams. Frequent light irrigation also can increase the likelihood that trees develop surface roots. Once surface roots become a problem, there is little that can be done to correct the condition. Cutting the roots can impact tree health and stability and roots are likely to grow back if the plant survives. Most trees species will tolerate covering the offending roots with a few inches of loam soil but as the roots grow in diameter, they will reappear on the surface. If soil is added, make sure it is not placed on the root collar and against the stem. The best option for dealing with surface roots is to mulch the area beneath the tree crown to avoid conflict between tree roots and turf.

Our root aeration program uses a unique tool known as an Air-Spade that concentrates a high volume of air on a small area of soil. This acts to loosen dense soil and allows incorporation of composts and other necessary amendments in order to promote root development on trees stressed by soil compaction, root damage, and root disease. Air-tools are also used to rapidly remove soil and mulch that have been placed against root collar and stem tissues during planting, construction, and maintenance. The root collar, which is the area where the root system joins the stem, should remain free of soil and mulch to reduce the risk of disease and insect infestations and stem girdling roots.

There are several types of root barriers that are now available to restrict development of tree root systems beneath pavement to prevent heaving. Barriers are comprised of high-density plastic or fabric that is impregnated with a chemical that prevents root growth.


root aeration
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