Root Zone Invigoration

Russell Tree Experts’ Root Zone Invigoration service is performed using a supersonic air tilling tool that alleviates soil compaction around mature trees and shrubs. The result is a greatly improved environment for your trees to thrive - beautifully tilled soil with all critical fibrous roots still intact! (This can’t be done with a conventional tiller!)



When soil is compacted, water and oxygen cannot reach the vital root system of the tree. Water will collect on the surface and evaporate since it is unable to penetrate the soil. Seeing as trees need water and oxygen to live, compacted soil can quickly and severely impact the health of a tree.



After Root Zone Invigoration is performed, the soil is adequately porous allowing water and oxygen to reach the root system of the tree.


Root collar excavation

Unfortunately, more and more trees are “growing up” in unnatural environments that force their root systems into confined spaces which leads to the formation of girdling roots. From the start of a trees life, girdling roots maybe forming. Trees grown in nurseries are forced to grow in small containers. This practice encourages the binding and tangling of roots AKA pot-bound. Poor nursery practices and poor planting practices are the two most common ways girdling roots are introduced into landscapes.

Other “tight spaces” include trees planted near homes, backyard structures, sidewalks, or roads. Even a perfectly placed tree can fall victim to girdling roots by the act of over-mulching its base –a trend that has resulted in the death of many trees by many well-intentioned homeowners

Root collar excavation is a technique used to expose “problem roots” that may be suffocating your tree and cutting off vital nutrient uptake, ultimately leading to the demise of your tree. These “problem roots” are known as girdling roots. Girdling roots are roots that tightly wrap themselves around the base of a tree in an unnatural fashion. A tree root collar (AKA tree root flare) is the area where the first division of roots attaches to the trunk of the tree and is the area where girdling roots form.   

Root collar excavation is a process that involves directing high-pressure air at the base of the tree to displace local soil in order to inspect the root system. Once problem roots are identified we begin the process of careful and selective root pruning to remove the unwanted roots while keeping the tree healthy and vigorous.



Review the tree to see if any visible roots are wrapped around the base of the tree. Another symptom of girdling roots is die-back starting in the top of the tree.



Using an AirSpade, the soil will be blasted to expose the tree’s root system below the surface. Don’t worry, the AirSpade only moves the soil and does not hurt the tree and it’s fibrous roots.


STEp 3

The arborist will then identify all the girdling roots and remove them using hand tools and/or a chainsaw.


STEp 4

The root zone is then covered with composed mulch and voila! - the tree can “breathe” again!