California’s drought has provided plant health care providers with a long-sought opportunity to address a very real problem in countless landscapes.
Quite simply, in all but the best drained soils, trees and lawns are poor combinations. Water displaces soil gases, including oxygen, and oxygen-deprived roots lead to vulnerable trees and premature decline. This availability of gaseous oxygen to tree roots is a fundamental physiological need, and tree deprived of it due to over-irrigation and/or poor drainage suffers over time. This is fact.
American Arbor has always addressed this problem on properties we serve, but reduction of lawn area and irrigation volume has often been met with resistance by property owners and lawn maintenance firms. People love their lawns.
Nature provides for soil enhancing organic layers under the trees and other plants. Such layers have many benefits: improved soil structure and fertility, better gas exchange, increased beneficial microbial activity and soil temperature moderation, just to name a few.
Gaining control over soil moisture is a critical component of plant health care. Achieving control over irrigation does not require that you eliminate lawn altogether from your landscape, but artfully reducing its area pays off big in terms of improving the health of your landscape trees, while saving water and money.
American Arbor utilizes a variety of material in place of water-needy lawn grass’ including simple but attractive mulches, combinations of mulches and stone and drought tolerant groundcover plants. All mulch application is preceded by inoculation of the soil with root enhancing nycorrhizol fungi in solution. Mycorrhizae are root symbionts critical to optimal root function. Once installed, a mulch bed provides an ideal environment not only for existing trees, but also for new plants carefully tailored to your property, enhancing diversity, age variation and longevity.
Sheet mulching, which involves the layering of various materials over a paper base, permits lawn conversions without the need of sod cutters and chemical applications. Call American Arbor today for ideas suited to your property and tastes. While conserving water and its costs, this effort is the single best thing you can do to optimize the health and longevity of your trees and other valuable landscape plants.