Soil is absolutely vital to the health of a tree. Dirt is responsible for regulating the water supply of the tree, supporting biodiversity, giving the tree physical and structural support, cycling the nutrients throughout the tree and filtering out the pollutants. This is why the type of soil you plant your tree in is so important to think about. You want to have fresh soil that will help give the tree the nutrients that it needs. But soil erosion can be an issue, and fresh dirt is especially prone to washing away. And with that fresh dirt, the nutrients the tree needs washes away as well. This is something that happens naturally, but it can be prevented somewhat.
So, how to keep fresh dirt from washing away? Here are some tips and tricks.
Use the Roots of the Tree to Your Advantage
Did you know that tree roots help prevent soil erosion? The tree itself does help hold dirt in place because it protects it from wind and rain. But it’s the roots of the tree that really help out the dirt by stabilizing the soil. Additionally, tree roots also tie the soil layers together. This prevents soil displacement. By holding the dirt together in this position, it helps keep the dirt from washing away.
Because of this, it’s important to plant your tree in an area that has fresh dirt where the roots can fully take form and embed themselves into the ground. By doing this, you’re helping to make sure that the fresh dirt you add to it in the future when it needs more won’t wash away.
This is why, sometimes, after a tree is cut down, the roots are left in place, as they keep the surrounding soil where it should be. This is important to note if you’re planning to remove a tree from your property.
Plant Grass and Shrubs Near the Tree
Planting even more natural beauty around your trees will not only bring up the aesthetic in your yard, but it will act as a natural barrier for fresh dirt as well. This is especially important if your tree is located near a slope or any sort of shoreline. By planting shrubbery nearby, you can reduce runoff by about 50 percent.
Shrubs and plants grow roots too. And though these roots aren’t as thick as the roots of a tree, they still can help prevent dirt from washing away. Integrating native plants that have absorbent root structures is a good way of stopping erosion as well.
Trees do grow better in pairs, so if you’re looking to plant more than one tree in your yard, there are multiple benefits to growing them together. Not only will it help your trees thrive, but having two sets of tree roots will act as a barrier to soil erosion.
Add Mulch to the Dirt
Mulch makes yard and garden maintenance easier. It offers benefits to the dirt and even adds a more attractive layer to the bare dirt. But did you know that mulch also helps keep the dirt moist longer? This makes it harder for the fresh dirt to wash away, slowing the natural evaporation of the moisture that happens. Because of this, erosion is slowed as well. This entire process helps prevent the water from washing the dirt away.
There are different types of mulch you can choose from. Fresh wood chips are one effective option. For instance, you can also use the stump grindings of a past tree that was in your yard as well.
Rocks can also help weigh down the dirt and can be a good option to include as well.
Improve the Drainage
Your home should already have a drainage system in place for your yard to adequately drain water out of your garden and into a water collection system of some sort. It’s important before planting your tree that you ask your arborist about this and ensure that the tree will have the proper drainage. If this isn’t possible, a heavy rainstorm could wash away an entire top layer of dirt.
In the case that your yard doesn’t have a good drainage system in place, you can talk to an arborist about what they can do to help fix this or to install an underground perforated drainage pipe.
Do Not Overwater
Just like a heavy storm can take away an entire top layer of fresh dirt, so can you with your hose. If you know rain is coming, you likely don’t need to water that day. The pressure the dirt feels from being hit by heavy spurts of water from the hose can cause it to shift and later wash away.
Fresh dirt is important to a tree; that’s no secret. But the real secret is how to keep fresh dirt from washing away. The above tips and tricks are a great start to preventing this from happening. However, everyone’s yard and trees are different. If you would like a more personalized solution to keep fresh dirt from washing away, give us a call today. At Mr. Tree, we’re happy to send one of our trained arborists to your home to take a look at your situation—including your yard, your trees, other shrubbery planted, if the ground slopes at all, and so on.
There’s no one fix-all solution for fresh dirt washing away, but there are steps you can take to help minimize how much actually washes away. Be careful when you water and with how much you water; look at investing in other shrubs, mulch, and/or rocks to help keep dirt in place; and make sure that your yard has the proper drainage needed. All of these are simple ways to make sure that your fresh dirt stays there, giving your tree the pr