Holistic Plant Care
Learn About Our Holistic Plant Health
Most people think of tree care as just pruning and throwing on some chemicals. At Treecology, we take a whole tree approach and have developed our Holistic Plant Health Care Program with help from our mentors at the Japanese Garden. Our approach incorporates pruning, but also takes care of the parts of the tree we don’t see … the roots and soil. In fact we diagnose our clients’ trees in the context of their yard, looking at the various stresses and competitions that are going on and making sure all of the trees and plants are playing well together.
There are many situations that can be corrected when the entire context of the yard is considered. This approach applies to plant pathogens, pests, and other non-biological problems. Trees and shrubs need the correct combination of space, light, air, water, soil conditions, and friendly neighbors. When the basic causes of a particular problem are treated, we can lesson the dependence on repeated applications of chemicals that are essentially designed to treat symptoms.
In almost every yard we go into, we find a major tree health problem – compacted soil. Compacted soil doesn’t allow air and water to go down through the soil. Water stays on top of the soil which leads to shallow, unhealthy root systems. In uncompacted soil, the water flows through the spaces in the soil, and roots follow it down deep so we get a healthier root system and a happier tree.
To decompact soil, we don’t break out the roto-tiller as that will kill the roots we’re trying to make healthier. We want a gentler, more natural approach. At Treecology, we use a pneumatic tool to loosen soil and incorporate air with virtually no damage to root systems. We then “till in” rich compost to increase the availability of nutrients for those roots. Healthy root growth is going to keep your trees happy without the use of chemicals. We can also use this tool during construction projects, to help builders avoid damaging large roots while excavating.