(814) 201-9757


A plant can be no healthier than the soil it's roots grow in

Proper uptake of nutrients from the soil is critical to a trees health and vitality. While Sun and Water play key roles, good nutrient uptake from the soil is an absolute necessity. There are many common issues that can hinder or prevent trees from accessing these nutrients. Below we list some of the many factors that we must address when improving the trees health.

Originating from State College, PA Cutting Edge serves Centre County and all surrounding counties with our services including tree root care, soil care, and tree fertilization.

Proper nutrient uptake plays an incredible role in the lifespan of trees on your property and their overall health – as healthy trees grow stronger and live longer.

Strong and Healthy Trees Live Longer


Fertilizing trees and shrubs has been proven to have a rapid and direct affect on the overall health of a tree. If a tree receives proper fertilization when it is young, it will grow to be strong and regular fertilization will keep it healthy.

Root and Soil Care is a more long term and sustainable approach. We improve root systems and soils with the use of the latest arboricultural solutions.

The main reason why you want healthy trees on your property is because they will be able to fight off various diseases and pest attacks. Another reason healthy trees are desirable is that they look much better with bright leaves and color.

Fertilization Keeps Them Healthy

If you could look at tree fertilization as an equivalent to humans adding supplements to their diet, then you can understand the importance of this program. Supplementation in a human diet helps build up immunity and strength.

Fertilization programs for trees and shrubs have the same affect – it builds up their health so they can fight off disease. Fertilization provides trees with the additional nutrients and minerals they may not receive any other way.

The Root Cause

A plant can be no healthier than the soil it's roots grow in

Soil Compaction

Many tree issues can be traced back to the root system of a tree. Heavily compact soils are what we most commonly see in residential settings. You may be wondering, 'why are compact soils bad for trees?' According to the latest arboricultural science, the root systems are unable to access and uptake adequate water and nutrients (as well as oxygen) for physiological processes.

Another common issue similar to compact soils are barriers for root development. These barriers can include compact soils, but also include things like sidewalks, roads, driveways, foundations, and underground utility installations like septic tanks. Some are naturally occurring like rock formations underground, but most commonly we see man made barriers.

Root Growth Structure

Nurseries will grow young seedlings into balled and burlaped (B&B) trees, as well as trees in pots. As the trees grow naturally the nurseries will occasionally sever the roots to prevent the root system from growing too large. This is done for practicality of transportation, as well as keeping a uniform size and weight to the trees in the inventory. Unfortunately if done improperly, this method of severing the roots can cause them to form poor structure, where they grow to overlap each other. This is especially true with undersized pots where the root systems have nowhere to grow. Then, once brought home and the trees are planted, the roots are introduced to a larger area. Some roots will continue the poor growth pattern, and can eventually choke, or girdle one another, or may even girdle the main trunk. The tree uses the hollow fibers within the wood to transport nutrients to the leaves and help continue the process of photosynthesis. It also sends carbohydrates, sugars, down to the roots to fuel their growth as well as store energy for the following spring. When the girdling root growth continues, the added constriction on the trunk will cut off the supply of nutrients in the layers of plant tissue below the bark. When this happens, it will put severe stress on the tree, and may even kill it from lack of water and nutrients.


Soil Texture

Even if a tree is so fortunate to have good root structure, another problem within the soils is incompatible soil structure and/or composition. Soils are made up of sand, silt and clay of varying percentages. This can be seen in a soil texture pyramid. Depending on the species and the climate, trees require somewhat specific soil conditions in order to have optimal health, and not become weak and sick. Soils are made up of organic materials such as composting plant and animal matter, as well as inorganic materials such as rocks and sand that have been worn down into very tiny particles. These contain minerals and other nutrients that the tree roots need. The medium of nutrient transition from the soils to the roots themselves is actually the water and salts in the soils, which enables the .


Soil PH

Soil PH is a major factor in the bioavailability of nutrients in the soils. Soils that may have all the best qualities mentioned above, but lack the proper PH will be of no help to the tree. The roots will simply not be able to uptake the nutrients. This is because the roots must exchange hydrogen ions with the nutrients in the soils through electrostatic energy. If there are incorrect levels of acidity, the nutrients cannot be drawn out of the soil. There are a few ways to solve this problem. Some are quick and effective, and others are slower acting, but longer lasting. Before making any changes in the soils, a soil sample must be extracted, and examined by a qualified lab.



A highly effective way to address all the above mentioned issues is with proper soil care and treatment. This may include things like soil decompaction, soil amendments, and root pruning. In this process, an arborist uses high powered compressed air to remove layers of soil away from the root system to expose the underlying issues. This is a non invasive approach that does not damage the roots, apart for minor root fibers that may be affected. Once exposed, the arborist may prune roots, replace soil, and may even remove excess soil from around the base of the tree. Each approach should be taylored specifically to address the situation of each individual tree and its circumstances.

Call Cutting Edge Tree Professionals for a Free Estimate: (814) 201-9757

What We Can Do

We understand the chemistry required to feed trees the right kind of supplementation to keep them healthy. We will visit your property and conduct a thorough examination of the trees requiring healthcare and consult with you along the way.

You can rely on the certified arborists on staff at Cutting Edge Tree Professionals to examine and diagnose the health of you trees and then tailor a fertilization program specific to their needs. For your free estimate on this or any other tree service, call or e-mail us today!