How To Improve Bad Soil Around A Tree

How To Improve Bad Soil Around A Tree

When trees aren’t flourishing in a landscape, tree experts and homeowners typically focus on the maintenance the tree is getting. Also, an examination of any disease or pest problems is necessary. One overlooked area is the crucial role the soil has in a tree’s health. Please keep reading to learn about the effects of bad soil around a tree and advise on improving it.

Your Tree Has Bad Soil 

A tree’s roots intake nutrients and water that let the tree grow and make energy. The majority of a tree’s roots are in the topsoil, around a depth of about 30 cm (12 inches). Based on the tree type, the roots might expand way past the tree’s dripline.

If a tree has bad soil (soil that doesn’t encourage root growth), it won’t work. One specific issue for urban trees is compacted soil. Soil compaction has a damaging impact on a tree’s health, leading to stunting growth, diseases, and pest damage.

Construction work is the chief reason for soil compaction. Auto traffic, foot traffic, and heavy equipment press down the soil, mainly when the soil is clay. With compacted clay soil, the soil particles become tightly packed. The dense soil structure stops root growth, restricting water and airflow.

bad soil around a tree

Improving Tree Soil 

It is simpler to avoid soil compaction due to construction work than it is to fix it. Applying thick organic mulch on root zones could shield a tree from any traffic. The meticulous design of a worksite could move traffic away from trees, making sure there is no disturbance to the root zone.

Though, enhanced compacted soil surrounding a tree is another matter. For remedies to be efficient, you must address all the issues that compaction creates. These issues include soil that does not let water enter or hold it, poor-quality soil without nutrients, and soil too dense to let roots get inside.

If you are thinking about how to enrich the soil around a mature tree, you aren’t the only one. Many tree professionals have come up with a few methods to handle compacted soil, but several of these are useful.


Two easy things you could do to begin bettering soil around trees are irrigation and mulching. Mulching not only increases the effectiveness of your soil, but it protects the base and roots of the tree. Also, mulch adds aesthetic appeal to your landscape.

Use at least four layers of eco-green mulch applied a couple of inches away from the trunk to the drip line and reapply as needed. The mulch quickly reserves soil moisture. Over time, mulch safeguards against additional compaction, developing the soil with natural matter.


The right amount of irrigation is critical to a tree’s growth, but difficult to decide if there is compacted soil. Use an irrigation system and moisture sensing device to offer without the danger of unnecessary irrigation.

For more information on how to fix compact or bad soil, reach out to Buffalo Tree Service.

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