Almstead Tree & Shrub Care Blog

Friday, April 29, 2011

Helping City Tree Roots Breathe Easy

Ginkgos in planters were buried in
2 extra feet of soil
We performed root crown excavations on three mature ginkgo trees exhibiting signs of poor health in midtown last week alongside NYC Municipal Forester Erin Maehr. The trees had been buried 2’ deep in soil for approximately 30 years. The excess soil was removed using an air spade (which loosens and removes soil using a stream of pressurized air).

On one tree, a grove of girdling and adventitious roots was found growing out of the trunk, including a 3.5” thick root growing approximately 11” above the trees natural root crown (where the trunk should be emerging from the soil if the tree hadn't been buried). Almstead staff member Leo perform root surgery by excavating and pruning roots using shears, loppers and hammer & chisel. We are very optimistic that with follow-up Plant Health Care services, such as deep root feeding with organic bio-stimulants, that these trees will recover and thrive as they once did.

Almstead Plant Health Care Technician
Leo and NYC Forester Erin at work
pruning the adventitous root system
After air spading, the trunk meets the soil at the proper
place. Many roots grew above the natural root system,
causing problems  for the tree.

Before we started to work, these trees were buried!
A large 3.5" thick root growing
approx. 11" above the tree's
natural root syste

- Chris Busak, Arborist in NYC & Westchester