Soil & Plant Analysis, Tree Care & Trimming

What is Vertical Mulching and How Does It Benefit Trees?

First of all… what is it?

Vertical mulching is a specialized soil amendment process used to support the health and vitality of trees. It improves tree health through improving aeration, drainage, and nutrient availability in compacted or poorly draining soils surrounding the root system.

It involves the insertion of vertical holes or trenches into the ground, typically using an airspace, auger, or a mechanical drill. These holes are then filled with materials such as compost, mulch, or organic matter. These help to break up compacted soil, improve water infiltration, and promote root growth.

This technique is often prescribed by Certified Arborists as part of a comprehensive soil management strategy to address soil compaction and drainage issues.

The Benefits of Vertical Mulching

Vertical mulching can have several benefits:

Increased Nutrient Availability:

The organic materials used in vertical mulching gradually decompose, releasing nutrients into the soil that are essential for tree growth.

Root Growth Promotion:

Vertical mulching provides favorable conditions for tree root expansion by loosening compacted soil and increasing nutrient availability. This leads to healthier and more vigorous tree, lawn, and plant growth.

Enhanced Water Infiltration:

Creating channels for water to move vertically through the soil can help prevent waterlogging and improve drainage in areas with poorly draining soils. Slow filtration rates can lead to erosion, run-off, or soggy soils.

Improved Soil Structure:

Adding organic matter into the soil through vertical mulching helps to break up compacted soil layers, allowing for better root penetration and water movement. Our team of certified arborists recommends getting a soil test before performing vertical mulching. This provides a benchmark to gauge soil improvement long-term.

What Time of Year is Best?

Landscaping companies in Dallas – Fort Worth commonly address soil issues affecting trees during the spring, fall, and winter. This helps prepare trees for the warm weather growing season and avoid potential heat stress.

The Right Tools for the Job

Having the right vertical mulching tools makes the process much more efficient. It also ensures that you do not harm surrounding trees or plants.

An air spade is a tool designed to excavate soil using compressed air instead of traditional digging methods like shovels or spades. It consists of a handheld nozzle connected to an air compressor. When the trigger is pressed, compressed air is directed through the nozzle, creating a high-velocity airstream that loosens and removes soil. In vertical mulching, an air spade is commonly used to create holes or trenches in the soil for the insertion of organic materials such as compost, mulch, or amendments. 

It is also used in Root Flare Exposure to gently remove soil buildup around the trunk of the tree to correct girdling roots, rot issues, as well as insect and disease issues.

Southern Botanical is one of only a few professional tree services in Dallas – Fort Worth that offer vertical mulching services.

Other Ways to Improve Tree Health

In addition to vertical mulching, there are several other important ways to improve the vitality of your trees.

Deep Root Fertilization delivers nutrients where your trees need it the most. Fertilization can help relieve environmental stresses like heat or construction damage, or it can simply be used to maintain your tree’s overall health.

Root Flare Exposure corrects issues that arise from planting trees too deep or mulch build-up over time. These can include fungal issues, rot and decay, and poor canopy health just to name a few.

Leave Your Trees to the Pros!

Southern Botanical’s team of ISA Certified Aborists offers Professional Tree Services. Contact us if we can help with your tree care needs!