American Tree Experts

Expert Techniques To Improve Soil Quality For Trees

Learn from the masters – Expert techniques to improve soil quality for trees!

Maintenance of an optimal growth environment is essential to help trees thrive. Along with water and sunlight, soil quality plays a crucial role in determining the growth and health of trees. Soil quality can significantly affect the health and vitality of trees and plants on your property. This article highlights expert techniques to improve soil quality for trees.

Get A Soil Test

Start by getting a comprehensive soil test to assess nutrient levels and pH of the soil. This information will serve as a foundation for soil improvement efforts. Next, enhance soil health by adding organic matter like compost, manure, or other suitable materials to improve your trees’ nutrient delivery, aeration, and drainage.

Humus Management For Soil Health

  • The fastest way to achieve fertile soil for your landscape is by spreading humus around the trees. Humus consists of organic materials like mulch, fertilizers, plant residues, and horse manure. Proper humus management is beneficial for enhancing soil health and productivity. It maintains soil pH, temperature, tillage, and nutrient supply.

Enhancing Soil With Essential Minerals

  • In addition to organic materials, incorporate mineral substances to improve soil health significantly. The key minerals for soil improvement are:


  • Ideal for clay-rich soils, it is one of the coarsest grains in soils. Sand enhances permeability and root aeration when added to clay soils. Yellow sand adds beneficial iron compounds that serve as trace nutrients for plants. However, up to 50 liters of sand per square meter may be necessary for heavy soils.


  • Soil liming helps increase soil pH. Calcium carbonate, a slow-acting lime, should be added to sandy soils. On the other hand, quicklime acts faster and is more suitable for heavy loam and clay soils. Ash fertilization or crushed eggshells can also be added to adjust pH levels.

Clay Minerals

  • Clay minerals have fine grain size and offer a vast surface area to store water and nutrients. In addition, clay is not easily degraded by microorganisms. It helps improve the water-holding capacity of soil.

Primary Rock Flour

  • Primary rock flour is a finely ground rock valuable for soil improvement. It changes soil pH and offers slow-release nutrients and trace elements. The benefits of primary rock flour are particularly notable in organic and nutrient-poor forest soils and anemic soils.

However, the impact of primary rock flour on soil appears over time and may take up to a year and then continue to improve for several years. Thus contributing to sustained soil enrichment and improved plant health.

Mineral Fertilizer To Boost Fertility

  • As the name suggests, mineral fertilizer is purely mineral and is a valuable source of plant nutrients. It effectively increases soil fertility in the short term. However, it should not be considered a soil improver as mineral fertilization alone leads to humus depletion over time, ultimately reducing soil fertility in the long term.

Therefore, it is crucial to employ a balanced approach that combines organic matter, mineral fertilizers, and other soil improvement techniques. This helps ensure a thriving environment for optimizing plant growth and long-term soil fertility.

Signs Your Soil Lacks Nutrients

  • improve soil quality for treesStunted twig growth
  • Presence of dead branches
  • Discolored leaves during spring and summer
  • Darker leaf veins compared to leaf margins
  • Undersized leaves with limited foliage

While a tree can experience poor growth for several reasons, it is essential to discuss your tree’s situation by consulting a certified arborist to diagnose the specific issue and suggest appropriate solutions.

To correct any nutrient deficiencies or other tree issues, contact American Tree Experts Inc. We are a professional tree pruning and nutrient management company. Our experts will develop a customized tree healthcare program and look after your trees as best as possible. Call us at (973) 774-6091 today for a free quote for all your tree-related needs.

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