Root & Soil Problems

Roots might be the most important part of a tree. The soil around your tree’s roots plays an important part in your tree’s health. One of the main causes of tree decline in Toronto is soil compaction.

Trees that grow in the city often have common soil problems including:

  • Soil Compaction
  • Low Nutrient Content
  • Poor Drainage

Cardinal Tree Care has several methods to improve soil quality to improve your tree’s health. Essentially we do this by removing poor soil and adding new materials. These methods allow your tree’s roots to easily reach beneficial nutrients.

Radial Trenching

Radial Trenching is a soil amendment technique that creates a web-like pattern in the soil around a tree.

Radial Trenching has many benefits for trees including:

  • Encourages deeper root growth
  • Improves drainage
  • Aerates Soil
  • Increases nutrients

Cardinal Tree Care uses high pressured air to remove soil around the tree. First, we make a pattern of trenches radiating from the base of the tree.

Next, we add mulch, root enhancements, and natural ingredients to fill the trenches. These nutrients will be absorbed by the tree’s roots over the coming years.

Vertical Mulching

Vertical Mulching creates a grid pattern of holes in the soil around the base of the tree and under the tree’s canopy. It’s similar to lawn aeration, but on a much larger scale.

Using a high pressure air gun, holes are excavated in the soil around the tree. then filled with nutrient rich organic material. The air gun removes dirt and stones but doesn’t damage tree roots.


Once holes around the tree are ready, we fill them with nutrient rich mulch, root enhancements, and natural ingredients to boost soil quality and the tree’s health.

Sometimes, as in the photos above, a combination of Radial Trenching and Vertical Mulching is best for the site to invigorate roots.