How Drainage Affects Tree Health Admin May 26, 2021

How Drainage Affects Tree Health

San Diego Tree Care and Arborist Services

Poor Soil Drainage Affects Tree Health

Ensure Tree Wellness and Maintenance by Professionals

If you notice water puddling around the base of a tree, you may have a problem with drainage. Tree roots can rot, drown, and die when constantly swamped with water. However, there are ways to improve the drainage on your property or around particular trees. Ask the experts at Rancho Coastal how drainage affects tree health and what we can do to correct problems that lead to poor drainage.

Poor Soil Conditions Impact Water Drainage

Unsuitable soil conditions prevent water from running off or draining into the soil. Without proper drainage, your trees can die from lack of nutrients and oxygen deprivation. For example, if you have compacted soil, there isn’t enough room for water to disperse. Waterlogged soil around your tree roots can lead to root rot and other problems.

You can adjust the watering schedule and modify your irrigation system to avoid waterlogging issues. Smart tree and plant selection can also help reduce an existing drainage problem. Keep in mind that trees growing in poor drainage conditions often spread their roots near the surface of the soil. They anchor poorly and are vulnerable to collapsing in the face of strong winds.

Signs of Drainage Problems

Here are signs that the soil on your San Diego area commercial property doesn’t allow for proper drainage:

  • Study water movement: If water flows quickly over the soil around your tree during or after a storm, this may indicate saturation that can cause erosion and damage tree roots.
  • Watch for standing water: If water puddles around the base of the tree, it could indicate poor drainage conditions.
  • Check soil type: Soil type also impacts water drainage. Sandy soils move water quickly away from the surface, while compact clay soils retain water and can cause challenges with proper drainage. Our experienced tree care professionals can perform a soil analysis to help you correct drainage problems.
  • Observe any browning leaves or needles: When the soil around a tree contains excess water, foliage may turn brown.

Solving Drainage Problems Affecting Tree Health on Your Property

We can help you find the most cost-effective ways to solve drainage problems that may be impeding the growth and vibrancy of your trees. Here are a few suggestions to help prevent or fix the problem of excess moisture impacting tree health:

  • In many cases, it is easy enough to shape the surface around the tree in a way that allows runoff or prevents puddling by diverting excess water.
  • You can use a French drain to move water away from the base of your tree. These drains consist of perforated pipes that redirect excess water and aerate compacted soil.
  • If you are developing a new site or planting new trees, check the soil grading to ensure that there are no low spots near the trees.  
  • Select trees that adapt well to very moist soil.
  • If all else fails, you can move the tree to another location on the property. In some cases, we may recommend removing trees with poorly anchored roots to avoid accidents and injury from weak, falling trees.

Our team at Rancho Coastal can help property owners in Coronado, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, and Pacific Beach understand how drainage affects tree health. We offer a full range of tree care services to help create a lush canopy over your San Diego area property. As part of our tree maintenance services and tree wellness programs, we can prevent, or correct root rot and other issues associated with inadequate drainage.

Consult Rancho Coastal to learn how drainage affects tree health and recommended steps to improve drainage around your trees. Contact us online to book a consultation.

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