Along with adding natural beauty to landscapes, trees also play a vital role in our ecosystem. Trees require lush, nutritious soil to reach full maturity, and quality soil is unfortunately lacking in many environments. That’s why so many in the landscaping industry are turning to biochar for trees.
Biochar is an organic soil amendment capable of improving the structure of soil and helping it retain nutrients and moisture. At Wakefield BioChar, we know just how vital nutrient-rich soil is to trees in all sorts of landscapes, including rural, urban, and suburban areas. That’s why we offer a range of premium biochar products suited to many applications.
How Does Biochar Benefit Trees?
Biochar supports trees in numerous ways, from ensuring optimum nutrient uptake to preventing soil loss. It even benefits the environment thanks to its effects on carbon in the soil.
Nutrient-dense soil is crucial to support the healthy growth of trees. Biochar effectively retains nutrients and moisture in soil, speeding up the growth rate of trees and helping them reach maturity faster.
Increased Pest and Disease Resistance
Biochar has proven effective at controlling pathogens that impact plants and trees. It does so by creating optimum soil conditions, which naturally increases a tree’s defense against fungal pathogens and other types of diseases. Biochar also enhances the presence of beneficial microbes, which help manage damaging pathogens.
Increased Nutrient Retention
To ensure optimum soil health for trees, the following nutrients must be present:
While biochar does not add macro and micronutrients directly, it does hold the nutrients present in the soil to ensure optimum uptake by trees. Biochar is particularly beneficial for forest trees, as it can remain in the soil for decades or even centuries. That means soil will remain nutrient-rich without the need for repeated applications.
Improved Soil Structure
By capturing carbon, biochar positively impacts the structure of soil. As a soil conditioner, biochar enhances the flow of air over root systems. And because it retains water so well, it keeps soil moist without becoming overly dense. Its effect on soil acidity also results in improved tree growth.
With urban and suburban trees, landscapers can usually take steps to avoid the harmful effects of erosion. These protective measures are harder to enact in forest landscapes, where erosion can leave trees deprived of essential sustenance.
Biochar for forest trees counteracts the effects of erosion by:
- Retaining nutrients in the soil
- Maintaining sufficient moisture levels
- Reducing soil loss by boosting macroaggregates
Macroaggregates are large collections of soil particles banded together by organic materials, and they help keep soil in place when faced with rainwater run-off and other issues that contribute to soil erosion.
Biochar keeps carbon dioxide in the soil, which prevents it from going into the atmosphere and contributing to climate change. Biochar can stabilize carbon for centuries, while also reducing the need for fertilizers that can have negative effects on the environment.
How to Use Biochar for Growing Trees
Here’s how to use biochar optimally to improve the growth of trees:
How Much Biochar to Use
The backfill surrounding the tree should consist of 10% to 20% biochar. This ratio is ideal for newly planted trees, as well as mature specimens.
When to Apply Biochar
Biochar makes the biggest impact when added during the initial growth stages, but it can provide significant benefits at any stage of the tree’s development. Urban and residential landscapes often experience soil quality issues due to lack of nutrients and problems with soil density, which inhibits a tree’s life cycle. The unique properties of biochar can overcome these challenges to ensure healthy growth.
How to Apply Biochar
With new trees, biochar can be incorporated directly into the soil as the tree is being planted. As for mature trees, the soil around the root system must be loosened prior to application. Combining compost and biochar for trees is also beneficial, as biochar will efficiently absorb the nutrients found in organic compost and retain them to ensure optimal tree growth.
The Secret to Thriving Trees and Shrubs
Wakefield BioChar products allow trees to thrive, without risking the harm that can occur when using harsh chemicals found in other types of soil amendments. Learn more about what biochar is and how it’s made, as well as the variety of effective biochar applications for gardeners, homeowners, and farmers.