As Whatcom County’s leading tree experts, Whatcom Tree Service wants our customers to understand the potentially disastrous effects that soil compaction can have on your trees. Even mighty trees that have been living and growing for decades can be brought down by this phenomenon. Here is a brief primer on the causes and dangers of soil compaction.

Trees’ root systems are adapted for pulling water and nutrients out of the soil from which they grow. However, this soil must be of a particular density that allows roots to grow into open spaces called macropores. If the soil density increases, meaning more soil is pressed into a smaller area, these macropores can shrink or even disappear altogether. This prevents further root growth, and also makes it harder for water and nutrients to reach the existing roots. If a tree doesn’t have access to these things, it will die.

Soil compaction can be caused by excessive pressure at the surface. High foot or vehicle traffic near trees can cause the soil to be compacted, negatively impacting their health. The best way to avoid this happening in your yard is through careful landscaping that routes traffic away from your trees. Heavy construction machinery can also cause soil compaction in a short amount of time. If you need to operate heavy equipment in your hard, it’s recommended that you spread wood mulch on the ground to help distribute the pressure evenly. Soil is also more prone to compaction when it is moist, as after a heavy rain. Planning your construction project to take place during periods of dry weather will help to avoid excessive compaction.

Whatcom Tree Service wants to do everything we can to help keep your trees healthy for years to come. We offer tree maintenance, trimming, and removal services. If you have questions about soil compaction or any of the other tree care services we offer, contact us today!