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Add organic matter

treeOrganic matter can be incorporated into the top 6 to 10 inches of soil using a soil excavation tool (See: air excavation tool). Almost all urban soils can benefit from this treatment because many are deficient in organic matter. Organic matter encourages beneficial microorganisms and earthworms associated with healthy soil.

Begin by loosening soil with the air spade. Some tree roots may be temporarily exposed but will be quickly covered. Next, add several inches of well-decomposed organic matter to the loosened soil and mix it together using the air spade. This mixture will scatter and settle in between tree roots as it is mixed.

Settle the mixture with water and add a thin (2 to 3 inches) layer of mulch if desired. Do not drive vehicles on this area after settling the mixture and limit walking on this area in the future as much as possible. The resulting loosened soil provides an inviting environment for tree root growth.