Whether you’re planting trees on a commercial site in West Kelowna or participating in Kelowna’s annual Communities in Bloom event, growing and caring for trees in an urban settting in the Okanagan can be a challenge. Growing trees on their own or in small clusters in a yard is much different than in a natural forest. Here are the unique challenges of keeping urban trees healthy:
Shallow Soil Beds
Trees aren’t just big plants—they’re remarkably strong organisms that create a giant network of roots in the soil below. The soil on residential and commercial properties is usually quite shallow, with the average soil cover being around 1 to 2 feet deep before hitting the clay layer. Although the tree’s roots push easily through soft topsoil, they have a harder time getting through the layer of clay. This prevents the root structure from growing strong enough to support the tree, resulting in stunted development and a weakened trunk. If you notice your tree is drooping or bending near the base, it may need to be safely removed. Give us a call and have us provide you with an estimate.
Poor Soil Quality
In the forest, plants and animals naturally add nutrients to the soil. These nutrients fertilize new growth and create hearty, healthy trees. In the city, it can be harder to maintain the proper soil conditions to keep trees healthy and vibrant. To help your trees grow strong and prevent disease, the soil around trees can be boosted with compost, fertilizers, and mineral supplements like bonemeal.
In most regions in the Okanagan, forest trees get plenty of hydration from rain and groundwater. Deep soil and overall humidity give forest trees the advantage of easy access to the moisture it needs to thrive and grow. But in our cities shallow soil beds on our properties can make it difficult for soil to retain water—causing the tree’s leaves to wilt, branches to droop, and the internal structure to become dry and hollow. Urban trees require frequent watering, particularly in hot, dry climates like Kelowna and the northern Okanagan Valley. Once a tree is hollowed out, it’s time to call the experts.