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Client Testimonials

"Howard Gaffin is an expert in his field. He is a top notch arborist and is also willing to listen to the land-owner's desires and is able to cooperate to achieve mutually satisfactory results."

N. Grigg
- Boxford, MA

Root and Soil Treatments

Probably the most overlooked aspect of tree care involves the landscape underground. Poor soils, compaction, drainage, and soil composition play a major role in tree health. We can provide soil testing and evaluation to determine the best treatment, if any is required.

Poor root structure and girdling roots are a common cause of failure in landscape trees. We can identify and possibly remedy these problems before it's too late.

Beech soil treatment

This old beech tree was showing signs of decline. The soil area under the patio appeared devoid of organic matter or root activity. We removed a portion of the brick patio, along with the sand beneath it. In an effort to improve root production, we incorporated soil obtained from under a healthy beech tree with a compost mix to replace the excavated material. The area was then covered with 4 inches of composted wood chips.

Mature beech in declineMature beech in decline.
Improving soil area under an old beech treeImproving soil area under an old beech tree.

Katsura RCX (root crown excavation)

The die-back in the upper crown of this Katsura tree is indicative of problems below ground. A specialized tool using high air- volume and pressure is used to remove soil without harming roots. Stem-girdling roots and root-girdling roots were exposed and removed.

Removing the soil with an air spadeRemoving the soil with an air spade.
The indentation in the trunk shows the constrictive damage from the removed rootThe indentation in the trunk shows the constrictive damage from the removed root.

Zelkova RCX (root crown excavation)

This Zelkova was showing die-back in a portion of the crown. Examination of the trunk indicated the presence of stem-girdling roots. The air tool was employed to remove the soil and expose the root system. The culprit was removed, along with other problem roots. The soil was replaced and the tree well watered. Improvement was evident a few months later. For more on the story, read "Root Crown Excavation Wizardry" in the blog section.

One of the constricting roots being removedOne of the constricting roots being removed. ZelkovaZelkova two weeks after treatment.
This Zelkova was showing signs of decline in the crownThis Zelkova was showing signs of decline in the crown.