Soil science and planting technologies for urban trees have undergone tremendous advancement in the last several years. For example, engineered structural soils can resist compaction from traffic or bear the weight of pavement or structures while also offering aeration and nutrients deep into the soil profile. Due to the overwhelming benefits of these planting systems, it may be desirable to partially replace the soil around a tree’s root zone in an effort to enhance the tree’s health and lifespan.
This application is ideal for tree plantings with root zones extending underneath pavement and those that have poorly suited or limited soil Partially bare rooted ginko street tree ready for new sandbased structural planting soil. (Images courtesy of Stephen Stimson Associates.) Urban Tree Soil Replacement volume, or where pavement is proposed to be added or replaced within an existing root zone. Similarly, this may be applied to trees planted in high-use lawn areas (for example within parks or campus landscapes,) where soil replacement is desired to improve lawn durability and health.
Planting infrastructure elements shown in the drawing (such as aeration pipes, root barriers, feeding tubes, irrigation and moisture sensors) represent a sampling of many available technologies that can be selected, omitted, or combined based on the tree needs and project goals, and should be determined by a landscape architect.
Technical Applications Bulletin
To learn more about performing air-spading procedures, tree health care and preservation read the full article below.